Mini-sessions build up gradually, burning more kilojoules as you progress while keeping joints pain free. Extra weight puts more impact on your hips and knees, but every kilo you drop takes almost 2 kilos of pressure off your joints!
DIVVY IT UP Research shows that short workouts can add up to the same weight-loss and health benefits as one long session, but they feel more manageable, helping you stick with your routine.
CHOOSE SOFTER SURFACES In low-traffic areas, opt for the road rather than the footpath. Concrete is 10 times harder than bitumen, delivering the most shock to your legs. A smooth dirt trail is your best bet; treadmills and rubber tracks are also pretty forgiving. Uneven soft surfaces, such as grass or soft sand, are a bit too challenging at this point.
USE GOOD FORM Squeeze your backside with every step to reduce bouncing and jarring. Imagine you have a bowl of water balanced across your pelvis. As you walk, don’t spill any! And don’t focus on speed yet—keep a comfortable pace throughout these workouts.
Workout at a Glance
Week 1 Walk for 10 minutes, twice a day, five times a week.
Week 2 Walk for 15 minutes, twice a day, five times a week.
Week 3 and beyond
Keep on building Increase the duration of your walks to 20 minutes, twice daily, five times a week; try to incorporate this into your daily routine. For example, cancel the paper delivery and walk to the newsagent instead; get off the bus two stops earlier; or take advantage of your lunch hour, and the gorgeous spring weather, to stride it out.
Now go a little faster After 3 minutes of easy walking, pick it up to a brisk pace for as long as possible.
Inch up your endurance Once a week, swap your two walks for a longer one, adding 5 minutes a week until you reach 90 minutes.