Let's face it, walking isn't sexy. But when it comes to weight loss and upping your fitness and wellbeing, the humble wander is where it's at.
After 20 years of research and experience, Joanna has devised a walking plan that uses all your muscles and can burn up to 400 calories in just 30 minutes. "Walking is not just great for losing weight," she says. "It's also fantastic for reducing the risk of diabetes, osteoporosis and breast cancer, as well as for reducing stress and anxiety."
Joanna's exclusive 20-day walking plan promises to help you drop a dress size and lose up to 8lb.
Start tomorrow and complete the plan by joining the Fabulous team on Saturday October 31 at our Heels That Hea one-mile charity walk at Westfield shopping centre in west London, where we'll be raising money for the Wellbeing Of Women charity.
Then you can slip into your stillies and strut your new, toned figure in style!
STEP TO IT!
- Pull in your stomach muscles and stand up straight as you stride.
- This will improve your posture and flatten and firm your midriff.
- To align your spine correctly, lower your shoulders and lengthen your neck as you walk, holding your head high.
- For added strutting power, swing your arms across your body, coming up to breast level. When you swing them back make sure your shoulders open up to help propel you forwards.
BEFORE YOU START
OK, concentrate. To maximise your weight loss you first need to calculate your baseline walking level - this is the average number of steps you walk in a day.
To work it out you'll need an accurate pedometer (available from all good sports shops from about £5).
All you have to do is write down how many steps you walk in three days, then on the final day add them all up and divide the number by three. This is your baseline.
YOUR DROP A DRESS SIZE PLAN
DAYS 1-3: Work out your baseline (see 'Before you start').
TIP Regular trainers are fine, but if you want to invest try Terra Plana Vivo Barefoot, from £65. The ultra-thin, puncture-resistant soles give you that barefoot feeling, and are said to naturally flex and strengthen the muscles in your feet.
DAYS 4-5: Add 1,000 steps to your baseline each day and keep walking until you've completed all of them (so if your baseline was 2,000 steps, you need to walk 3,000 in total). You can do this any way you like - get off the bus a stop earlier or treat your dog to an extra lap of the park.
DAY 6: From now onwards you need to schedule specific walks into your day to complete your steps. Today, add 1,500 steps to your baseline (so if that was 2,000 steps, now do 3,500). Depending on your pace, 1,500 steps should take 20 minutes.
TIP Drink at least 200ml of water before you start your walk and keep sipping throughout.
DAY 7: It's time for a mini fitness test. Find a route that you regularly walk - it could be to the bus stop each morning, or the shops - but make sure it takes at least 10 minutes. Walk the route as fast as you can so you feel out of breath by the end. Note how long you take - you'll need this later.
DAYS 8-11: Plan another walk, adding 1,500 steps to your baseline.
DAY 12: Rest day. It's important to give your muscles a rest so they don't get overtired. Do some stretching to keep your body supple.
TIP A great stretch for the back of your legs and to tone your bottom is the downward dog and leg lift. Start on all fours. Tuck your toes under and push yourself up into an inverted V. Slowly lift one leg out straight, hold for five seconds, then lower to the floor. Repeat 12 times, swapping legs each time.
DAYS 13-14: Add 2,500 steps to your baseline. The next four days are your longest walks so you can split them in two each day. Add some inclines into your walks to really work your calves and bum.
TIP When walking uphill place your ankles down first - not your toes - so your spine stays safely in the correct position.
DAYS 15-16: Add 3,000 steps to your baseline, pick up your pace and try to complete them more quickly. You should be walking fast and working up a real sweat on these two days.
TIP Music is great for keeping you motivated as you go, and it helps you to fall into a steady rhythm.
DAY 17: Rest day. Keep your muscles supple with yoga stretches. If you've only got time for one move today, make it the saw and reach. Sit on the floor with your legs hip-width apart and your back straight. Lift your arms out to the side so they are at shoulder level. Keeping your back straight, rotate at the waist until one arm is over your feet and the other is behind you. Keeping your stomach muscles tight, turn back to the centre. Repeat 12 times, changing direction each time.
DAY 18: Add 2,000 to your baseline. Slow down slightly as it's important for your body to feel energised for the finale. Make sure you're still following the rules on how to walk properly.
TIP If you feel tired at this point, drink a cup of coffee an hour before you walk.
DAY 19: Repeat day 7. Compare how long it takes you with your original time - it should be faster and feel easier.
TIP Treat yourself to a hot bath with a sachet of Elemis Musclease Herbal Bath Synergy, £52 for 10 sachets. Bliss!
DAY 20: Heels That Heal charity walk at Westfield shopping centre. Ditch those trainers, slip on your heels and celebrate the new trim you on our one-mile walk.
TIP When walking in heels your posture alters slightly, so be aware of keeping your spine relaxed and your tummy pulled in. Happy strutting!
When you've finished your daily walk, it's important to stretch out to keep your body supple and prevent you feeling stiff...
Downward dog and leg lift
Best for... toning your bum
Start on all fours, with your knees under your hips and hands under your shoulders. Tuck your toes under and push yourself up into an inverted V shape. Gently push your heels down to the floor so you feel the stretch on the back of your thighs. Slowly lift one leg out straight behind you, contract your buttocks, hold, then slowly lower the leg back down. Repeat on the other leg. Repeat 12 times, swapping legs each time.
Saw and reach
Best for... toning the waist
Sit on the floor with your legs hip width apart and your back straight. Lift your arms out to the side until they are at shoulder level. Keeping your spine tall, rotate at the waist and twist so that one of your arms is over your feet and the other is behind you. Keep you stomach muscles tight and rotate back to the centre. Repeat, rotating in the opposite direction. Repeat 12 times.
Chair tricep dip
Best for... Saying bye bye to bingo wings
Sit on the edge of a chair with your knees bent and feet flat on the ground. Grip the edge of the chair, with your elbows bent and pointing backwards. Support your weight and lower yourself down towards the floor by bending your elbows, keeping your knees bent. Now push yourself back up until your arms are straight (do not lock your elbows), press your hips forward and raise one arm up over your head in a diagonal stretch. Repeat 12 times, swapping arms each time.
Best for... sculpting shoulders
Lie on the floor with your knees bent to the right. Holding a small weight or a can of beans in your left hand, slowly extend this arm up and over to the other side in a semi-circle motion. Keep your elbow soft. Bring the arm back to the start position. Repeat 6 times on the left arm then 6 on the right (knees bent to the left).