Walking For Health


Dal Dhaliwal Advises Us To Get Walking!

Walking is a great way to lose weight and get more active. It is a perfect form of exercise for people of all ages and fitness levels – it’s free and simple and one of the easiest ways to get fitter.

There are many health benefits in walking: Regular walking has shown to reduce the risk of chronic illnesses such as heart disease, type 2 Diabetes, Asthma, Stroke and even some Cancers.

Before you begin regular walking I recommend you invest in pair of walking shoes or trainers. Make sure that these are comfortable, provide adequate support and don’t cause blisters. If you start taking regular, longer walks you may want to invest in a waterproof jacket and some walking boots for more challenging routes.

Starting Out

Start slowly and try to build your walking regime gradually. You can start with a strolling pace and then progress to brisk walking and then fast walking.

To get the health benefits from walking, you need to be walking at a moderate-intensity – aerobic activity. In other words, it needs to be faster than a stroll. Moderate-intensity aerobic activity means you are walking fast enough to raise your heart rate and break a sweat.

Try to walk 10,000 steps a day. Most of us walk between 3,000 and 4,000 steps a day anyway, so reaching 10,000 isn’t as daunting as it might sound.

If to begin with, you can only walk fast for a couple of minutes, that’s fine. Don’t overdo it on your first day. You can increase your pace and distance of your walking routes gradually.

From walking to the shops or part of your journey to work, to walking the dog and organised group walks, try to make every step count. Important thing is to stay motivated and make it a habit.

Tips on how you can include walking into your daily routine –

Walk part of your journey to work.

Walk to the shops.

Use the stairs instead of the lift.

Leave the car behind for short journeys.

Walk the kids to school.

Do a regular walk with a friend.

Go for a stroll with family or friends after dinner.

Mix it up to add variety – pick interesting routes such countryside walks with the family, park walks etc. Just remember to take it slowly at first, but then build up to a faster pace as your fitness improves.

You can also join a walking group – Such as an organised Ramblers group. Walking in a group is a great way to start walking consistently, make new friends and stay motivated.

Set yourself a goal – You can walk 1,000 steps in around 10 minutes. Pedometers are a fun way to keep track of your walking. Use a pedometer to work out your average daily steps and then start adding those extra steps. Or maybe try setting a goal to enter a sponsored walk or entering a fun run. This will give you something to aim towards and ensures you keep to regular planned walking sessions.

Get yourself outdoors and start walking and maximise the health benefits. The important thing is to stay motivated and make it a lifestyle habit.

Questions via Twitter and Facebook

[Question 1] ‘As an Asian woman, I have always struggled with a pouch and saddle bags. Do you have any recommendations to tone these areas?’ Twitter – EY @exoticyogini

‘Saddle Bags’ – the fat that is more noticeable over the thighs, hips, buttocks in women – can certainly be down to genetics, diet and lack of exercise. A combination of correct diet and exercise can help reduce the fat in these areas and the abdominal region.

The first place to start is with your diet – Cut out all the processed junk food from your diet such as; bread, potatoes, biscuits, cakes, chips, white rice, sugary foods etc. These types of foods are full of empty calories, bad fat and very few nutrients and minerals – and can contribute to weight gain.

Increase you water intake – Water is very important for health in general and to lose weight. Replace all regular soda and sugared drinks with water. Try drinking fresh lemon water – this naturally speeds up your metabolism and makes a very refreshing, healthy drink

Start including Interval training and some form of training with weights into your exercise routine. Opt for shorter Cardio Interval Training sessions approximately 30 minutes maximum in duration, rather than boring long cardio sessions.

Start to lift weights – Training with weights will increase your metabolism and improve your muscular tone – so you’ll burn calories faster over time. This will help to burn off the layer of fat on your body – and in the lower body region – that’s hiding your muscles.

You will see a difference in your body by eating healthy and exercising consistently.

[Question 2] ‘I find it hard to eat breakfast in the morning. Is it really the most important meal of the day?’ Facebook – Simran in Luton.

Breakfast provides your body with energy to start the day, and breakfast is linked to many health benefits, including weight control and improved performance.

There are many health benefits to eating Breakfast.

Breakfast will give your body energy that is needed throughout the day.

It is a good way to get your metabolism working well for the day

It stops you from binging throughout the day.

A healthy meal in the morning can also help to regulate your blood sugar levels through to lunch time.

Improved concentration and performance – In children and adults.

Gives you an improvement in strength and endurance to engage in physical activity.

Can help to lower cholesterol levels.

Help maintain a healthy weight.

Having the right breakfast foods – higher in nutrients, vitamins and minerals – can help you concentrate, give you strength and even help you maintain a healthy weight. Breakfast really is the most important meal of the day. Start your day of right and eat something nutritional and healthy – to kick start your body and mind in the right way.

You can tweet Dal your questions @daldhaliwalPT or Find her on Facebook: Dal Dhaliwal


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