best shoes for walking

I love my job and as trying as it can be to fit in a full-time working week, family needs, house needs, after school activities, shopping, ironing and all the rest that comes with a normal day to day life. I don’t want to stop working just yet.

However, certain areas of my life are slipping and one of those is fitness. I don’t go to the gym anymore, I don’t like running, I rarely go swimming these days and if I do it’s just a dip in the sea. What I do like to do and it fits in around the madness of my life is walk.

I treated myself to a Fitbit last year with my birthday money and have worn it more or less every day since. I love how it tells me how many steps I have done, it prompts me to get up and move if I’ve been sitting too long and it can show me how I have slept which I find oddly fascinating to check.

Now the days are longer and brighter, I can walk the girls to the local clubs and at the same time stretch my legs, get a breath of fresh air and add some steps to my Fitbit count.

Millet Sports got in touch recently and asked if I would be interested in reviewing a pair of their walking shoes. I didn’t even know there were such things as walking shoes! I clicked on their link and came across a lovely selection of what I would call trainers but trainers have come a long way since back in the day.

I am now the very proud owner of these beauties, the best shoes for walking!

best shoes for walking

First of all, they look the part and I am sure you will agree on that note. Nice colours, nice style and look sturdy but comfortable at the same time.

Secondly, they are comfortable and supportive too.

I have worn them to walk Baxter with a couple of school mums whilst the girls were at Brownies one evening but I had to stop and take Baxter home because he couldn’t keep up the fast pace. It was also a very hot evening, poor boy.

I have used them to walk up to the shops and back. To accompany the girls to clubs but I am really looking forward to do some proper walking and I have in mind to complete the Viking Trail in Thanet, have you done it yet?

So if you are looking for the best shoes for walking, then take a look at the Millet’s range as I think you’ll really like them.

Disclosure: I was sent a pair of the best shoes for walking for the purpose of this review.

couch potatoesA recent survey found that 17% of boys and 16% of girls (aged 12 – 15) are now classed as either overweight or obese. According to the aforementioned, nearly three quarters of children are not getting their recommended “60 minutes of daily activity” outside of school. There’s just too many inside distractions. So many, in fact, that a vast majority of children confessed to dual or triple screening – watching the TV whilst surfing the web whilst texting their mates. It sounds like modern kids could really do with a day or two outdoors.

Thankfully, my children aren’t exactly physically inactive, but the potential for it concerns me: their tendency to opt for iPads, computer games and TV over competitive outdoor activities is becoming more and more frequent. We all know how important it is to keep young bodies mobile, so how can we motivate them to move?

When I was a kid, I went to summer camp and it genuinely tested my physical, mental and emotional limits. I guess that was the point. But when you’re a preteen and don’t care much for abdominal workouts, there’s little attraction to swimming a mile at dawn in a freezing cold lake (except maybe for the donuts at the end). The difference is – I didn’t get the choice. Rousing from warm (if not uncomfortable) bunks, gaggles of worthy kids would wrestle into swim suits twisted like elastic bands and shuffle down to the shoreline. Lapping at the sand, the turquois blue water held two promises: it would be deceptively beautiful and very, very deep.

I wonder if it’s a cultural difference – my camp was American – or a sign of changing times, but I can’t imagine this approach being effective or even tolerated in today’s health and safety society. So where’s the balance? When you’re faced with a coach potato kid, how do you turn them into a nature-loving wildling?

5 Point Programme

  1. Start with an open discussion about why physical activity is important. Don’t expect to get off lightly – if you’ve hit the middle-age fitness impasse, ‘fess up and pledge to make an effort. Otherwise they’ll see you for the hypocrite you are.
  2. As with all things, your child will create roadblocks. This may include, but not be limited to, a previously undetected physical impairment/uncontrollable fear of the outside. Call their bluff, rope in their mates and join forces with other parents. Teamwork makes the dream work, or so they say.
  3. Find an outdoor education and activity centre. Unlike you, these places actually know what they’re doing and how to motive kids (without being overtly preachy). See if your child’s school offers these opportunities and would be happy to arrange a field trip. If they wouldn’t usually, suggest it.
  4. Set small, attainable goals. Don’t expect your kids to love to swim on the Sunday and be able to front-crawl ¾ of a mile by Friday. That’s just crazy. You’re not looking to give them any more reasons to hate you.  Instead, use a goal & reward system. If they participate in a football match, they get 1 hour of internet. Don’t ban their beloved technology, it’s counterproductive. Controlling it and using it to motivate your intentions is a lot more logical.
  5. Praise and praise and praise them. Trying something new, let alone sticking with it, is a big deal no matter what your age.

Although I hated it at the time, there’s no doubt that completing the almighty lake swim of doom gave me, even subconsciously, the ability to take a stab at other challenges later in life – particularly physical ones.  Now more than ever, we need to show our children the awesomeness of climbing trees and swimming in lakes and rolling down hills. Whilst these activities are incredibly good for the mind body and soul, memories are a childhood institution and they simply cannot be recreated on Tumblr or Instagram.

What do you do to get your kids active?

*Sigh* after a two week break where I totally lost my mojo, life kept getting in the way on the run up to Christmas and I surrendered unable to follow my MuTu System as I like to. In the meantime I found my long lost mini i Pod and managed to download the Christmas special Slimpod edition  – I managed to  lose all my music in doing so but I figured if I haven’t listened to it in over 4 years chances are I can wait a little longer!

Week 8 of the Mutu System steps up a level and boy can I feel my legs after the workout, I have always hated squats but I’m pleased to see I’m getting more resilient and can cope with 45 seconds non stop which is brilliant for me. A couple of the other exercises I’m struggling with initially but practise makes perfect. Here have a look –

Sadly for me I don’t have any top exercise gear to wear so I’m in my old green t shirt souvenir from our fabulous Key West, Florida  visit years back and the leggings I think were Primark and have since been relegated to decorating clothes hence the paint mark on the leg.

I just found out that Next are introducing a brand new line of sports gear carrying the name of Exercise Queen Davina herself (my green exercise ball is one of hers!) and I had  a cheeky peek online to see what she’s presenting…and I like it.

I wonder if she saw my video would she take pity on me and send me a bag of her stuff over to fill me with courage and inspiration to continue my MuTu System and regain the body I lost all those years ago? Wouldn’t that be a dream come true? Or even meet the lady herself and workout with her?

Dream on Mari! But hey in the meantime I can dream of owning a few articles from her collection, take a look at what I fancy, there’s even a couple of Feel Good pieces for after your workout. NEXT asked me to choose a favourite but I’m stuck between the blue top or the stripy one, what do you think?

 

A quick catch up on my progress with the MuTu System, I’m into Week 7 now and yet still haven’t had a moment to check out the video for this week – I just hope I’m doing the exercises correctly :) I would normally have time but the run up to Christmas has so many extra things to do that My Time is getting more and more squeezed, in fact yesterday I didn’t do any exercises (oh, the shame) but at least I managed to complete the core activities and that makes me feel slightly better.

I’ve taken a photo of my personal ‘gym’ so you can see how I’m organising myself. Now the only place which is suitable enough for me to work out without being in front of the whole wide world is this area off the main living room which is currently being used as a toy/play area. Hence being surrounded by them but it does give you an idea of the small amount of space you need.

My Gym – Note the clock perched on the doll’s house that goes back to the kitchen once I’m done but you need something with a second hand as you do 45 seconds of exercise and then a 15 second break. A gym ball which I found in a sale for £6.99 and it came with it’s own pump and a rubber band – can be seen on floor and it gets used for warm up stretches and a couple of other exercises too. Finally the yoga mat – another bargain. And a pint of water for during and after!

You can also see my printed off pages with the various exercises on them as I always forget what’s next. (I’m just too busy concentrating on the exercise at hand – yeah?)

What do I wear? Pyjamas at the weekend as I can do the system after breakfast with no rush to get out of the door. Tracksuit sometimes or what I’m actually wearing which is most likely to be jeans. A pair of trainers as I don’t like jogging on the spot bare feet.

Assistance – the radio on high volume. This morning for example I pumped away to XFM radio’s hard rock morning session and I was done before I knew it.

Progress report – You’re supposed to do the Core exercises every day and on the whole I have done so apart from the odd day here and there. In week 7 I’m supposed to be doing the work outs at least 5 times and this past couple of weeks I’m struggling to keep up because of extra Christmas shopping or activities. I did feel really down about this, feeling I was letting myself down but I added on an extra 6 mins this morning and can do tomorrow too to make up for a lost day.

Food (includes wine and chocolate) – THIS is another bit I struggle with. My house is full of chocolate right now, I have chocolates on the tree, in the advent calendar, in the cupboard and IN MY MIND. And wine… well I’m very good Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday (but did have a glass last night) and not so good Thurs, Fri, and Sat when I will have a glass or two with my meal. Consequently I haven’t lost an ounce! I had lost a couple of pounds but then went on the School Mums Crimbo meal and promptly put them (and more) back on but it was worth it!

Food is going to be my hardest part right bang in the middle of my MuTu System over Christmas but I’ll just have to keep at it a little longer than 12 weeks to make up. In fact I most likely will because when I do get the time to do it, I’m loving it and I can see/feel my waist tighter too. Did you see my Spiced Apple Cake recipe?

VERDICT – 6/10 hang on in there Mari, save some calories for wine and choc and eat smaller portions which means ME dishing up and not Paul!

Today I started week 5 of my MuTu System and life has been so hectic since I began I haven’t had the time to catch you up week by week BUT I am really liking this method.

Each week there is a plan to follow which covers diet, exercise, breathing and general wellness. New parts are introduced one week at a time and so they become instantly achievable and as you follow the system. The plan becomes clearer and clearer and in my case stronger and stronger plus it keeps the plan from becoming boring.

The easiest part for me was the food element, we don’t eat a lot of processed foods and I do cook us a main meal every day only occasionally relying on bought in pizzas, pies (which we both adore) or curries etc. I don’t drink fizzy drinks unless it’s tonic in my gin and even then only occasionally. So it would seem I’m more or less perfect unless we talk chocolate and white wine. Need I say that at the Food Blogging event I attended over the weekend in Birmingham Artisan du Chocolate did a chocolate tasting! Did I hold back? Hell no, but I did walk  a good 20 minute walk four times that day so I don’t feel so guilty.

The Exercise bit is the hardest for me to follow I. Hate. It. it’s just not part of my genetic make up BUT on the whole I’ve been completing it and thanking the heavens every day it’s only 15 minutes. I have missed a day or two here and there but on those days I did go for a long walk or was busy ‘in an energetic way’ so again I feel kind of ok-ish about it.

I love the Core Exercises and have no trouble fitting them in to my schedule, they’re based on Pilates and Yoga and I think they’re effective too.

As for the body measurements, well I did take them all at the end of week 1 and this morning I had to re take them. ‘Ohh’ I squealed when I noticed I’d dropped a whole centimeter then as I looked closely at the tape measure I noticed there was an extra 2 cms before the measuring started! So now I’m 1 cm bigger than I was a month ago.

I forgot to weigh myself this morning and again I have been weighing myself throughout the process even if I have been told not to and I haven’t seen any weight loss as such yet.

But when I look in the mirror, well is that a feint waist line I see emerging there? Or is it the light? My stomach seems to be flatter too obviously not at the end of the day but in the morning it looks better than it did a month ago.

So on the whole I am very pleased, week 5 has seen a step up in the exercise routines but still not more than 15 minutes a day for 5 days out of seven, even I can’t argue with that, can I?

If I were to mark myself for the past three weeks I’d give myself a 6 maybe 7/10 but in my favour I have started week 5 on a real high a proper 10/10 so far but it’s only Monday, so will I slide again by the end of the week?

On a shopping note, because we all love an excuse to shop, I have treated myself to an exercise ball which came with an exercise rubber band and I also found a yoga mat for half price too, total expenditure £12.

I’ll be back soon with more news on my progress and if you are intrigued head over to MuTu Central and have a chat with the lovely Wendy, my personal trainer… tell her I sent you ;)