Get into your stride
New to walking? trip leader Clare Bonnick shares her tips…
1 Walking mainly uses your legs and bum muscles, but on rough ground you’ll need to engage your core for balance, which is good for the brain too. 2 Protect your knees by strengthening your thigh muscles – do squats and lunges three times a week. using poles when you walk also helps. 3 a proper warm-up and cool down isn’t necessary, but stretching your legs after walking can help prevent aches. 4 try taking small steps when walking uphill, and avoid leaning too far forwards or backwards on the descent. Poles can also be helpful to propel you upwards (plant them behind you to push yourself forwards), and as “extra legs” on the way down.
5 Nordic Walking, which was invented by cross-country skiers and uses taller poles, is a more intense form of walking – it’s faster and works your arms and core as well as your legs, for a whole-body workout.