Hello there. I had the loveliest week last week, including a fab night at the Rooftop Book Club, with beautiful views across London, a trip to see Sunset Boulevard with Glenn Close (which was absolutely awesome, go go go!) and then a morning spent at Syon Park, learning how to walk.
Yep, you heard that right. My mum very kindly bought me a ticket to Joanna Hall's Walkactive Workshop as a kind of motivational post-baby kick up the bottom. When she told me about it I was a bit sceptical - I mean, a walking workshop? I'm not elderly or infirm just yet... I also worried I'd be the youngest person there by a mile but then that's because I forget that I'm 35, and that isn't actually that young anymore... Ahem. Also, I do walk a lot - all the time and everywhere, so I did wonder if there was actually anything I could learn. However, I was willing to concede that my posture is terrible. And I was pleasantly (is that the right way of putting it?!) surprised during the workshop to learn that basically I was doing it all wrong.
I won't go into the whole process here, because there was loads to take in (it's scientifically proven and everything!) but it's really worth looking into if you're at all worried about your posture (as I was, and have been for ages). During the workshop we were taught how to push off from our feet correctly, meaning that we used the muscles in our legs in the right way, and how this followed up through the way you hold every part of your body to the very top of your head.
The best bit of the morning was at the end when we split into two groups and did a kind of catwalk together - the first time walking our 'old way', the second time walking in the way we'd just been taught. The difference watching people was quite staggering actually - everyone looked so much more purposeful and cheerful walking the 'Walkactive' way, and downtrodden and depressed walking as they used to. I could also really feel different muscles in my legs being used as I walked correctly, and I found my pace picked up so much that I almost felt as though I was doing a brisk trot, but without looking stupid. If that makes any sense at all. It was a very satisfying feeling.
So, definitely worth looking into if you think it might be of interest - I love walking and one of the best things about being a mum is having an excuse to get out and push her in the buggy every day - the days I don't walk I find myself very frustrated and miserable. And now I know how to use my legs and feet properly, I can already feel my thighs toning up - and that is only ever going to be a good thing! There are workshops and residential camps on offer to learn the Walkactive technique, but if that seems too much of a commitment, there's also a book and DVD. Find out more on the Walkactive website >