Nutrition and Calorie Tips

Just a walk…

Just a walk… 🚶🏼‍♀️

As lockdown progresses I’ve noticed a lot of my clients are beating themselves up over not doing “enough exercise”. In many cases they’ve been trying to work from home, home school the children, and run the household etc. Some days they’re managing to fit in a workout, others they’re not and they’re feeling guilty about it, and worrying about the loss of those activity calories they “should” be burning.

During this time most people are managing to walk more, making the most of their allowed outdoor exercise time. This is often not viewed as something which contributes to those activity calories, but it’s actually doing more good.

It’s natural to associate cardio workouts with burning loads of calories; you feel sweaty and breathless so you feel like you’re working hard. A 45 min HIIT or that sort of workout is very tough and regardless how hard you’re working you’re going to be feeling it. However, it may be hard to motivate yourself to commit to a 45 min session at home when there are so many other things shouting for your attention (children (literally!), work, house chores etc). In contrast an hour’s walk doesn’t feel particularly strenuous, it may be something you do anyway to walk the dog, get the shopping or get the kids out the house for bit, and it in fact burns more calories than the workouts.

I did this experiment on myself so the numbers will vary according to your age, height, weight and fitness levels but the principal is the same (and has been shown in independent studies too). A one hour walk a day will burn significantly more calories than a 45 min HIIT workout a day. So if you’re not managing a workout every day – don’t stress, especially if you’re managing to go for a walk. In addition 7 days of HIIT workouts is actually NOT a good idea – studies have shown these workouts impact negatively on sleep if you’re doing too many a week. Obviously there are cardiovascular and health benefits to the HIIT workouts which are equally as important as calories burnt so don’t ditch them completely – but my point is that you shouldn’t feel guilty or like you’re not burning anything if all you manage is a walk on some days.



Tuesday Tip

Tuesday Tip: Walk the Walk

Tuesday Tip: Walk the Walk🚶🏼‍♀️🚶🏻‍♂️

Many of my clients know I’m a big fan of walking and getting those steps up – and this is why! Whether you’re new to working out or just looking for something a little less intense then what’s wrong with a good walk? Absolutely nothing!

Walking is an excellent form of exercise that lets you build fitness and can help you lose weight (as long as you are creating a calorie deficit – just like any other exercise). But beyond that walking is so beneficial that it’s worth doing even if you are already a regular exerciser.

Walking is free which means anyone can do it, and you can do it anywhere. It’s also easy on the joints, requires no equipment or special skills or technique so it’s safe and easy. It’s been shown to boost bone strength, improve the immune system and give better sleep quality. A brisk walk is a great way to get the recommended daily amount of exercise in.

It’s a fab way to increase general activity – even if you regularly exercise there’s a good chance that if the rest of your day is spent sat down at a desk that you won’t be getting enough activity in to your day. A recent study showed that even a regular 90 min daily gym workout wasn’t enough to combat the ill effects of sitting at your office desk all day. And many studies have shown that ‘naturally skinny’ people will tend to have higher general daily activity levels than others, irrespective of whether or not they workout. So consider adding some walks in to your day – walk up the stairs, walk to speak to a colleague rather than calling, walk at lunch, walk to work if you can etc.

Walking is a fab way to improve your health and fitness without having to spend more time at the gym working out. It’s a great activity to do with family or friends too; and if you’re the competitive type then get yourself an activity tracker and measure your steps – most now set goals for you and you can even compete with friends (and strangers) to see who can clock up the most steps!

So what are you waiting for? Go for a walk!

Happy Tuesday 🤗


Tuesday Tip

Tuesday Tip: Walk the Walk

Tuesday Tip: Walk the Walk 🚶🏻‍♂️

As things get busy in the festive period it may get harder to get to the gym. But we can always walk right? 30 minutes of walking a day has been shown to help reduce stress, improve mood, increase bone density. Walking is a great way to maintain some activity when things get busy (think of all the waking you’ll do xmas shopping!). But how can you get the most from those walks to boost the calories burnt?

#1 Pace

Studies have found walkers who vary their pace burn 20% more calories than those who maintain a constant speed. So add some intervals – 1 min fast walking pace, 30 secs slower etc.

#2 Terrain

Walking on uneven or sloped terrain has been shown to raise calorie expenditure by 30% or more. Hills require more glute, hamstring and quad engagement – big muscles which increase calorie burn and uneven surfaces use more core muscles. So try to include hills or stairs, or even different surfaces like gravel, sand, grass etc.

#3 Arms

Yes you’re mostly using your legs but by using your arms too you can boost heart rate (and cal burn) by 10-15 %. Pump your arms as you walk, or try carrying things (doesn’t need to be actual weights – water bottles work well or maybe xmas shopping if not!).

#4 No phone

Get your nose out of your phone. Walking pace decreases significantly when you’re also on your phone. So put your phone away and don’t dawdle. It will also prevent you looking like an idiot when you walk in to something or someone!

#5 Don’t just walk

It doesn’t just have to be a walk – see if you can incorporate some other moves – lunges, squats, jump jacks, or if you don’t want to do that in public, why not get a bit of an extra workout in by going up stairs two at a time instead of one, or add a little jog, larger strides or walk along low walls (like we used to as a child) – maybe even a little hop-scotch – just have some fun!

Happy Tuesday 🤗