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.

 

run faster shoes

Here she goes again right? Whittling on about getting fit and pwah ha ha! Couch to 5k? 

When I first spoke to husband about this idea he told me not to bother, he said, ‘You know you won’t do it, why bother in the first place?’ Not the best encouragement I’m sure you’ll agree but he does have a point. I continue, Every Single Year to want to get fit, I yearn to have back my youthful body, no saggy belly, no lumps and bumps the  proof that time is slowly showing it’s face on me.

I look at some of my friends on my Facebook timeline, they LOVE sport! Some cycle, some run, some go for brisk walks and then there’s me, typing at a ‘puter all day every day (which I love, don’t get me wrong) but I need to get out, I need to get fit, I need to do something.

But how?

Well there are lots of initiatives around, Race for Life, Race for This, Race for That, all raising money for charity and giving people all over the country the urge to get up and run.

I am not a huge fan of sport which is weird because at school I had activities every single evening, netball, hockey, gymnastics, ballet. I grew out of it I suppose and had the luxury of living in a good body that consumed all the junk I put in.

Nowadays with my metabolism slowing down, I don’t seem to be able to do such a good job anymore with the calories I consume. This then makes me feel sad and so I get all ‘Who cares? I might as well cheer myself up with a bit of chocolate.’ and bang I am back in the vicious cycle again.

I have decided to start small.

I have made the first step by downloading the app Couch to 5K and then I spoke to various people about doing Race for Life – shall I? Shan’t I? I’m so undecided.

Anyway I chatted about this whole dilemma with SportsShoes and they said I am not alone, that women and men up and down the country have the same lack of get up and go but maybe a brand new pair of running shoes would be more encouraging than husband? What an idea SportsShoes, maybe you are right? Some new Run Faster shoes might do the trick.

So I ordered that pair at the top, it took me a while to decide as there are hundreds of designs, colours, models and makes but I am very happy. I have been wearing them on the school run (it’s a start, right?) I love how there are no laces to tie up, just that black thing to pull. They are also super comfy, almost comfy enough to start running a bit – next week because you know it’s Bank Holiday weekend and I’m not sure I’ll fit any running in…

Disclosure: SportsShoes very kindly sent me a pair of trainers for the purpose of this post BUT also to try and encourage me to get up and out more. They have some beautiful trainers and at very reasonable prices too.

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?

swimming with arm bandsWe can’t ignore the fact that the Olympics are on our doorstep, one family member was telling me how excited they are to have been able to get tickets for the event and to be taking their eldest along to introduce him to the fascination that is competitive sport. An unforgettable experience and one likely to stay with any child forever.

We didn’t bother trying for tickets. The girls are too young to appreciate it and the thought of travelling into London during that period – especially after the diabolical experience on our recent Diamond Jubilee visit – was enough to convince us to stay home and watch our favourite sports on the TV.

Part of me would love to be there, I would pay gold to see the opening ceremony live and I have my fingers crossed that we pull off a good show. It will be hard to follow the Chinese and their awesome events.

But how about my children? How am I ‘raising future Olympians?’

Sport has always been a part of my life, as a child I participated in gymnastics, ballet, hockey, netball and swimming. At one stage of my school years I had a different sport each night of the week. For this reason it has been natural for me to encourage all of my children into the world of sport but without pressure on them of Great Expectations. In my book it was always about movement, enjoyment, learning to win (and lose) gracefully and to have FUN.

kids sking Folgaria Italy

Living in an Italian mountain resort whilst raising my older two, it was perfectly natural to put them on skis aged 3 and let them participate in the Scuola Materna Ski School where parents could choose downhill or cross country. We chose downhill ski and both of my children went into the ski team which meant all day Saturday on the slopes training and rising at 5am on a Sunday morning to get to the ski school minibus to take them to competitions.

learning to snowboard

Both children got to a point when they asked to stop. Should I have pushed them? I don’t think it would have changed their minds as they’d already been made.

We also used the local swimming club once they were old enough and they are both great swimmers. Both have taken lessons on Lake Garda for windsurfing and Thomas’ latest passion is kite surfing. I also treated them to scuba diving lessons in Sardegna on our last holiday together before I returned to the UK, a gift I hope they will take with them through life.

learning to snowboard

Therefore it’s natural for me to encourage the girls into sport. This year they have participated in the local gymnastics club and got first level medals.

gymnastics

They’ve also been taking swimming lessons at the local pool which they love and they are so confident in the water now. I would hesitate to say it but they are almost swimming with the odd doggy paddle coming into use as they try out their newly learnt skills.

swimming collage

Am I raising little Olympians?

The answer is no….but I am offering them the opportunity to try sports and decide for themselves if they like it or not and if they want to carry on with them.

I think that parents have to dedicate a lot of their time and energy if they want their children competing on a higher scale, I’d be prepared to do this but I’d have to know their heart was in it. It certainly won’t be me pressurising them, it must come from them.

pony riding

Future Olympian equestrians maybe?

Then I will gladly take up my time to ferry them all over and should they show promise all the better….in the meantime let them enjoy sport as a fun activity to make new friends and learn new life skills.

I’m entering this post into the BritMums #PGRaisingOlympians Celebrate Their Success Linky.

Lardy da, lardy de I’m as smug as smug can be! and a poet in the making too :)

Davina…guess what?

The gorgeous workout gear from your Davina for Next collection you sent me to review at the beginning of the month I love it but it’s only too BIG for me now! Which is really annoying on one hand and blinking ruddy marvellous on the other. I’m down to 10st 1lb now and still going strong, I couldn’t believe it when I stepped on the scales and saw a number 1, I seriously thought the batteries were on the blink again but I’ve only recently changed them so yippee. I can now allow myself to think of a summer with floaty dresses and no one asking me if I’m pregnant again, now THAT would have made it all worth it. Luckily the Burnout top looks even better now and the capri pants are lycra so still good

What’s more I can even contemplate buying your cute top here which has been seriously off limits for so long now

I’m chuffed to be going to Italy for a quick weekend at the end of the month to visit my new grandson and being as Italy is the Land of the Chic I, at long last, will be able to hold my head high and not have to make excuses about the extra weight I was carrying and basically couldn’t be bothered enough to get rid of.

No Davina, this time I shall wear my brand new size 10 coloured jeans and a snug white woolly jumper on top (It’s a ski resort so I need to wrap up warm) In fact I won’t look like the Michelin Man wrapped up in all my warm layers any more, yoohoo!

Of course my muffin top tummy has been cured by the wonderful Wendy who set up the MuTu system and what’s more you can win one of her highly successful programmes here today. So any mums out there who’ve recently had a baby and want to get trim for the summer or who (like me) had a baby years ago and never got round to doing something about the excess weight can now enter to win this fabulous prize worth £57.00 and get fit in the comfort of your home around the needs of your children. It works! Check out end of post how to enter.

Another shout out for the Jenny Craig diet, I did so well on my original 14 days trial that they’ve asked me if I’d like to continue for another fortnight, hell yeah! During my last consultation with the lovely Angela we started to talk about planning my own meals as last weekend I was invited to a family 1st birthday and I knew there would be a buffet, a very tempting delicious buffet. But she ran me through the battle plan and here it is for you so you can put it in place too next time you’re faced with one

Buffet Battle Plan

  1. Stand back from the table and look at the whole lot before you start to pick
  2. Choose your favourite item and treat yourself but watch portion size ;)
  3. Stay away from the pastry
  4. Pile up on salad and vegetables – as much as you can eat
  5. When you have your plate of food REMOVE YOURSELF from the table
  6. Do NOT sit close to the table throughout the party as you will be tempted to pick
  7. Keep a glass of water/diet coke cup of tea in your hand so your hands are full :)
And to celebrate Valentine’s Day, JENNY CRAIG will be sharing the love with a 50% discount off a 2 week programme.  That’s all your meals AND your own personal weight loss consultant for just £38.50 a week /£5.50 a day (+ delivery charge).  Call 0800 917 5540 or visit www.jennycraig.co.uk

So how to win a MuTu System programme?

  1. Leave a comment below telling me you’re willing to commit to 12 weeks and get your body back into shape.

For extra brownie points

  • Like MuTu on Facebook
  • Write on the MuTu wall ‘I want to win a MUTu programme via Mari’s World’
  • Follow MuTu on twitter @mutusystem

Best of luck to everyone