A male perspective on Walking Courses ... "Joanna's technique makes complete sense"
27th October 2009
Due to working long hours and a leading very healthy social life(!),weight gain, especially around the 'gentleman's spread' area, has always been something I've had to keep my eye on. I've joined many gyms in the past and whilst the initial enthusiasm was there, my schedule of travelling along with genuine dislike for weights and running machines made them a very costly experience with little or no reward.
When my girlfriend said that she was going on a 'walking course
', in all honesty, I was quite dubious. I wondered what Joanna could possibly teach her about walking that she hadn't already grasped over the past 36 years! I was cynical to say the least. So, when she asked me to join her, my immediate thoughts were to think of excuses why not to go ...
1) apart from my alleged heavy, noisy feet, walking was a skill that I can safely say that I had mastered well
2) every day I walk to meetings, between meetings to the tube, at the supermarket and whilst pacing up and down on the phone to clients so I clock up a significant mileage each day
3) after a busy day at work, the last thing I want to do is expend energy - preferring good food, a glass of wine and the TV
4) walking's for girls ...? and my Dad? (worth a shot)
As the excuses flowed, so too did her persuasive counter argument and explanation of how walking could benefit me ...
1) Joanna's technique helped posture (I do tend to hunch a little at
2) It can help with weight management (the gentleman's spread did need a little TLC)
3) It helps to increase fitness (not a bad thing as I also smoke)
4) It has a positive impact on your health (I do little or no exercise)
So, with little escape, I said that I'd learn with her (intending to maybe go once and then throw the towel in!) and as I was walking so much in my day to day life, I thought it wouldn't harm to learn the technique in the first session (I'm a quick learner) and then I could make each step more beneficial to me at the very least. Simples!
On day one, as Joanna explained the science behind her technique and walked us through the implementation, what she said made complete sense. Whilst I couldn't admit it, I could feel my posture changing right there and between that and my second session, my girlfriend also commented on how my feet seemed to have been silenced as they touched the floor. A miracle maybe? I went to the second session - after all, it was dark and the group could do with a man to be around - for safety of course. Encouraged by our trainer, Karen, my longer stride meant that I led the way for the rest of the group, I felt my muscles starting to really work and after the walk felt as though I'd been to the gym. The technique is hard to master and not something you can pick up in one session, it needs to be practiced for your body to adjust to this new way of walking. I was implementing the dietary tips that Joanna had suggested and became religious about my daily pedometer check in. It was becoming apparent that this walking technique was getting under my skin. Week two came and I even went out on a few walks on my own when I had the chance - clocking up steps and feeling less stressed and more healthy. In week three, my girlfriend was unwell - the perfect excuse to dip out - but I was keen to take part and found myself back with the group, enjoying walking. In week four, we were all finally measured to monitor our progress. Secretly hoping for the largest weight loss in the group, but happy if I had lost none as it would back up my initial argument that Joanna could not teach me anything about walking that I didn't already know, my measurements were taken.
I had lost a total of 5 inches in body mass.
So, what can I say? The only argument that was true is that walking was, in the main, for girls. However, this is probably because most men bow out at the earliest opportunity due to incorrect preconceptions like I had. What I found was that Joanna's walkactive™ technique makes total sense. The technique she teaches works your body well. Not only that, but it works in terms of weight management
. Further still, it's actually very enjoyable and is so easily integrated into your daily life that working out could not be any easier. I will definitely continue to walk with technique.
So for all the men reading this - it's the simplest and most effective way I've ever exercised - and it works! For all the ladies reading this - get the men in your life walking! They may not admit it but they will thank you for it in the end.
When Jeremy started the course, I knew that we had a challenge to maintain his interest and could feel his cynicism. We were also well aware that being the only man on the course might put him off. However, he was committed, implemented the principles of what we teach and by walking with him and being able to perfect his technique each week, he started to notice the benefits. It was a real triumph for us to be able to demonstrate in inches how impactful his last 4 weeks had been as losing 5 inches is a huge success. It was great to have him on the course and I'm delighted that he stuck with it. I hope that his story encourages more men to join us - alone, with their partners or with friends of theirs.