Walking: why we should all be doing MORE!

ibiza hike
ibiza hike

I'm in Ibiza for a few days with my husband for our 1 year anniversary. We got married here last year and it's very special to us! We're in the north of the island sunbathing, reading, chilling out, swimming, doing yoga and hiking...

Hiking is basically a long walk...maybe in slightly wilder surroundings and on more challenging gradients than regular walking, but essentially it's the same slow-ish paced consistent movement.

Walking & Overall Health

Walking is a low-impact, full body exercise, free transport service which almost anyone can do at any time with no equipment! It gets the 'blood pumping' which can clear heads and make you feel more energetic and alert. It also gets the muscles working which makes you feel less stiff & stops muscles getting tight. It uses energy - burning calories & increasing fitness. Walking is great for the mind, it's therapeutic, gives you a break and gives you time to think. Plus you can easily build it into your routine.

Walking & Weight-Loss

I used to think I was an active person because I hammered the gym every morning before work for an hour, but at that time I was working in an office and I would then sit down all day at my desk. I couldn't understand why I couldn't lose weight. It was only when I starting to simply move more in my day that I saw changes.

Your body uses energy for all functions whether conscious or unconscious: the beating of your heart, sleeping, thinking, digesting food, working, shopping, driving, walking, running, lifting weights etc. This is why those very general guidelines say that women need 2,000 calories a day and men 2,500 calories a day just to live. Energy expenditure all adds up but even though I was hammering the gym, my otherwise sedentary lifestyle meant I wasn't getting the results I wanted. So I started to make sure I was walking 10,000 steps a day on top of my workouts and saw so many positive benefits in weight-loss and my energy and fitness levels.

10,000 Steps 

How much is this?

A recent study found that the average person only manages about 5,000 steps a day, so whilst 10,000 is probably more than you think, the good news is once you start you'll feel better and find it easier to find ways to get them in.

I measure my steps using the health app on my iPhone (it's the app with a red heart on it) - have a look now as it will have logged your steps without you knowing for however long you have had your phone! A fit bit can obviously help too and make you more conscious of it as it's on your wrist.

These are all approximate as everyone is different, but some average guidelines:

  • 1 mile = 2,000 steps
  • 5 miles = 10,000 steps
  • 30 min walk = 4,000 steps

Don't forget that ALL steps count, so try not to see this as a huge task.

Ways to Walk 

Whatever your preferred fitness activity, increasing your steps per day on top of it can help your overall health and fitness.

Ways to incorporate walking into your day:

  • Walk to and from work or get off bus/tube/train a few stops early
  • Go for a walk with a friend to catch up instead of a drink
  • Take the stairs (that old chestnut...)
  • Walk on your lunch break
  • Have a walking meeting in a park or take a call on hands free
  • Walk to a colleague's desk to speak to them rather than email, even if on another floor...or another building!
  • Walk around a new city to explore
  • Hike on holiday!

Mobility - how important is it?


🙆 M O B I L I T Y 🙆

In the past 3 months, I've made 2 changes: 1) I've been dedicating about 10 mins before every workout to mobility training and 2) I've been doing yoga twice a week for approx. 45 mins/1 hr (sometimes in my house/garden from a youtube video - free & easy!).

What a difference it has made! Stretching used to never really be part of my workout apart from a bit of foam rolling on a rest day and being seated at a desk for so long leads to tight hip flexors, lazy glutes & rounded shoulders. I had major issues squatting properly, gained a serious shoulder injury lifting with bad upper body posture and had a constant niggle round my right shoulder blade which sometimes turned into a sharp pain when doing particular movements.

I've really started to reap the rewards of all this mobility work, safely lifting heavier than before, my squats are much deeper than they used to be and my core is the strongest it's ever been. My posture has hugely improved and I'm burning more fat at rest from stronger muscle.

So if you choose to start incorporating mobility into your workouts, try not to see this as a chore but a complementary part of whatever other activity you are doing! Here's a typical mobility warm up I use:

Lower body:

- 3 points contact on the floor front/centre/back - 10 reps (straight legs/soft knees - stretch out back of legs) - Walk out - 5 reps - High plank - right foot to right hand & stretch right arm behind you (same for left) - Cossack squat - 5 reps each leg - Squat hold - 15 secs x 3 (deepen every 5 secs if you can) I then activate glutes using a band which also raises heart rate for warming up - usually lateral walks, kickbacks, clams etc

Upper body- broomstick drills (there are loads of others you can do but here's an example): - Hold the stick in front of you resting on your thighs with a wide grip, keeping arms straight roll it up above your head, round and down your back as far as it can go - but don't arch and don't force x 10 - your range should increase by the tenth rep - Keeping arms straight roll stick to the left and up behind your head, same on the right side x 10

Holidays & Exercise/Nutrition


My last day in New York where we've been for a long weekend - it's been amazing, I love this city! Went to Shadow Box this morning as I just really enjoy smashing the bag and doing loads of burpees...


H o l i d a y s & E x e r c i s e • Do you still exercise & keep an eye on your nutrition whilst on holiday? Or do you take a holiday from all that too? Of course it's so important to rest and relax when you're away, but when it comes to staying healthy - the key aspect for me is that I don't go sod it & let my holiday completely derail everything I'm working towards. Whilst being away this weekend, I haven't stressed out about workouts and instead we've done lots of walking & today was my first 'proper' workout since last Thursday. Sometimes it's great to do something different anyway and give yourself a break from the norm & being regimented. We're staying in a hotel & I definitely haven't woken up every morning to do HIIT in my room. If you're somewhere hot then try something like paddle boarding or swimming in the sea....or if in a city then just walk everywhere! If you've been training for a holiday, & you're not usually a regular exerciser, then I think the more active you can be on your holiday then the more likely you are to make it a part of your life when you get back.

H o l i d a y s & F o o d • I can't have my food planned like I would do at home, but I've tried to keep my protein & green veg intake up as much as possible and I've been drinking lots of water. So I don't feel guilty about some of things I've eaten this weekend (pancakes! 😍) as I know overall it's not a big deal. SO on your holiday!! It doesn't need to be all or nothing....just do your best where possible...and enjoy!