How can power walking help me get back into shape after birth?
The lowdown on how power walking can help you get your pre-pregnancy figure back
Looking for an easy way to start your Post-Natal fitness regime? Here Laura Uglow of True Vitality 4 Mums explains how you can increase your fitness levels, burn fat and get out into the fresh outdoors after the birth of your baby.
Power walking is one of my favourite ways to help get in shape! It’s free, low impact, simple to do and doesn’t require any fancy equipment or gym space. Think of occasions where you can fit in some exercise in and just walk everywhere! So if you were planning on driving to the shops, try walking. If you have the time, try to find a longer route home. Start thinking of every journey as an opportunity to walk. Get off the train or bus early and walk…or skip the train altogether, and always take the stairs!
Brisk walking is not only a great way to increase your fitness and tone up your entire lower body, but it also strengthens your bones and helps to prevent osteoporosis. What’s more you will burn loads of calories :) For example, a 30 minute fast walk between 4.5-5mph will use up a whopping 285 calories, while a gentle stroll at 2mph, burns 106 calories.
Just because you do it every day doesn’t mean walking has to be routine, spice up your walks with marches, kicks and speed intervals to make it a more intense workout and to really work your butt. Take yourself outside for some fresh air or do your walks on a treadmill, where you have the advantage of controlling the gradients to make your workout more challenging. With some simple tweaks you can make every stride of your walk sculpt your entire body. Mix in a few arms and ab exercises as well and you’ll sculpt, tone and burn fat all in one!
Like any exercise, frequency is key – aim for at least 150 minutes of walking a week over a few sessions – and you will soon reap the benefits. Top tip: Always maintain a tall posture with your shoulders back and looking straight ahead.
Here are some walks for you to choose from:
WALK 1: 20-30 Minute Rejuvenator/Happiness Walk
Head out for a 20-30 minute rejuvenating walk at a moderate pace. You can do this in your lunch break, on your own or with your family. Focus on your breathing, feeling your feet on the ground and taking in your surroundings.
WALK 2: 20-60 Minute Pedometer Walk
Measuring how many steps you’ve walked is a great way to track your progress. Under 5,000 steps is considered sedentary, 10,000 (around 5 miles) active, 12,000 or more highly active. This month, why not aim to walk at least 10,000 steps every other day.
WALK 3: 30-45 Minute Sculpting/Flat Abs Walk
To tone on the move and help power yourself, pump your arms, driving your elbows straight back as you push your opposite hand forward to work your upper body. For this walk you will need to exaggerate your stride length at certain intervals, which will force your bum and thighs to work harder. Whether you are on your own or with your baby in the pram, head out for a walk – walking at a moderate pace for 4 minutes and then stop and do a minute of squats. Alternate for 30-45 minutes.
WALK 4: 30-45 Minute Interval Training Walk
Walk at a moderate pace for 3 mins, then speed up (keeping good posture!) at a faster than normal pace for 2 minutes. Alternate this for 30-45 minutes).
WALK 5: The Ultimate (mega calorie burner!) Power Walk
Walking for at least 60 minutes at a moderate to fast pace will get you into your fat burning zone and will get you great results! Don't forget to wear your pedometer to track how far you have gone.
Good luck and enjoy! You can find out more about my True Vitality 4 Mums 12 Week Transformation Programme here