My girl. Taking a walk.

MUTU Intensive workouts are extremely effective and last only 15-20 minutes, which is very cool, especially for busy Mamas.

But those 15-20 minutes AREN’T your daily activity quota, they’re your *intensive exercise to get fit and strong and gorgeous and sweaty* quota.

Movement, ie walking, needs to be part of your (and your kids’!) day too.

Here’s why and how.

Mums don’t have any spare time (comes with the territory…) which means we have to take the ‘me time’ we can grab – while the baby sleeps, while everyone else sleeps, that 20-minute slot between shopping, tidying and the school run… Or it doesn’t happen at all. *Making time* is another conversation. But I wanted to have a quick word in your ear about the difference between making 15 minutes’ time to ‘do your workout’… and making time to walk.

See if that 15 minutes MUTU Intensive workout is the only movement your body gets in a day, then that’s not going to get your body and health where you want it.

In fact, if you get up from your seat in front of the computer/TV/at the office/in the car to do your workout, and then pretty much go back to the car/office/desk/TV, then you could actually do yourself more harm than good. Most of us are awake for what, 16,17 hours out of 24? Knees, hips, wrists, feet… they’re not built to do nothing for 15+ of those hours and then leap around for 15 minutes. Definitely, ‘not cool’.

I’m not suggesting you’re literally doing nothing in those hours – you’re working, driving, housekeeping, caring for your children, studying, reading, reading to your children… all-important, essential stuff. But you’re not really moving, and by moving in this context I’m referring to walking. Not running or even a little jogging, but WALKING.

It’s not Either/Or. As suggested in the MUTU System programs, right from day 1, you go for a daily walk. You add in more intensity and a few more short workouts as you go along, but you always do your daily walk.

Ideally, we should walk for 1 hour every day to keep our joints working effectively. Owning a dog or walking a longish school run helps, but if you don’t have either of these things, an hour’s walk is probably something you’re not doing. 30 minutes would be a great start.

Go today! Walk a shortish trip that out of habit, you usually drive. Save the planet, some fuel money, and your joints all at the same time! Put your baby or toddler in a buggy and go for a walk. Borrow a dog. Walk to the shop for a packet of unsalted cashews ;)) and walk back. Got bigger kids? They need a daily walk too, so go together – you can all practice some of these good walking habits for fun as you walk! Take the scooters or balance bikes sometimes if their pace is just too painfully slow to bear ;)

How To Walk Properly

Is she kidding me? How to walk?

Well I know you can probably walk… but you could probably do it in a way that benefits your butt, leg muscles, knees, and pelvic floor a little more (yes, how you walk and stand directly affects your pelvic floor… who knew?), so try these:

  • Your feet should point straight ahead as you walk. Many of us stand and walk with our feet pointing out to the sides. For lots of reasons (basically boiling down to some basic mechanics) this is not good for your feet, your knees or your hips. So look down (get your kids to do this too!). Your feet should be pointing straight forwards.
  • Walking is a kind of gliding action: heel to forefoot, pushing off the forefoot and off your spread toes. Your torso should be straight, don’t bend or lean forward and look straight ahead. (If you’re walking with a toddler this will be categorically impossible as they pick up every twig, leaf and piece of litter from the ground, but try ;)
  • Your shoes are important. Shoes for walking in should not have a heel, because to walk in correct alignment, your heel needs to interact with the ground. You don’t necessarily have to go for ‘barefoot shoes‘, just flat shoes. You ideally want a toebox wide enough for your toes to wiggle about, as flat a heel as possible and as thin a sole as possible (Converse over Nike for instance!). PS: not flip-flops or shoes you have to ‘hang onto’ though.
  • Your legs should be pretty much straight when you walk, so your leg should pivot/ hitch from the hip, rather than bend at the knee. Try it – the key is to propel forwards from your forefoot and toes – feels weird at first (but hey, probably so does lots of stuff I suggest you try, so bear with me) remember we have many, many habits that are not good for the way our body works. Just because you’ve always done it one way, doesn’t mean its the right way and after a while you’ll find that those ‘bad knees’ or ‘dodgy hips’ of yours aren’t quite such a habit either!
  • And last but not least, I’ll remind you again, don’t tuck your butt! 
  • Swing your arms, stride out and enjoy it!