It's funny how sometimes life can throw up happy coincidences isn't it? That happened for me towards the end of last year. A friend got in touch to ask if I could help out one of my old teams as they were short. Now it's been a while since I played Korfball (or Netball to be honest) and my fitness levels are lower than they once were, but for once this wasn't uppermost in my mind. My first thought was if I had any trainers I could wear, and then I caught myself as not only was it ridiculous that I was considering playing (see fitness levels admission above), but of course I would have trainers, wouldn't I?
You'll remember that MOH picked them up from the Post Office for me before Christmas, and took some convincing that there were trainers in the box as it was so light. And it's true, they are light - even lighter than my underused running shoes, but they're comfortable and I love how they don't look like trainers, as while these are from the active range I'd earmarked them for use on my walking commute.
Vionic shoes have been designed with technology to support our natural alignment to reduce discomfort, and this, they say makes them a good choice for people who suffer from plantar fasciitis (heel pain) or those looking for extra support as it improves posture and reduces pain in the knees, back and neck.
Many netballers will know the knee pain that playing a sport they love can bring - I do too - and that's why with an almost half-hour walk each way, I'm keen to have good shoes for that. It really does make a difference. I've found these extremely comfortable and apart from the day that it really chucked it down (when I opted for boots - not wellies, although they would also have been a good choice) I've worn these every day I've been back at work, and at weekends too. The colour and design helps, I'm not usually a trainers at the weekend kind of girl, unless there's sport involved.
Walking though is one of the easiest forms of exercise, since I've been walking to work - and around the offices - I regularly clock up over 10,000 steps each day, which as apparently we spend "up to 60% of our waking hours in a sedentary state" I'm pleased to be able to make a small change.
I've noticed a difference too, not immediately of course, but over time. I'm walking more quickly, getting less out of breath walking back up the hill, but it's when I'm cycling that I notice the difference the most. And while I still don't fly up the hills (sadly) my leg strength is much increased, and I get further up the hills before I need to stop for a break!
What I'm finding myself doing now is challenging myself further, we've all done that "race" against others haven't we? You know, where you choose a person in front of you and walk to catch them up - of course they don't know, so no whooping as you reach them please, they'd rightly give you a strange look. I've done that, tell me you have too, but it's not much fun when they don't know is it?
I realised today that another way to stretch myself is to lengthen my stride. It's amazing how stretching out a little bit uses other muscles, and so that's my challenge for the next few weeks or so and it'll be interesting to see what improvements that brings.
I've seen a few Nordic walkers out in Greenwich Park, sticks and all - I'm not about to join them - but I can see the advantages of combining it with an upper body workout. My handbag acts as part of that, but mostly that's just a workout for my left shoulder...
And if you're stuck trying to work out how to get 10,000 steps into your day, remember:
- it burns around 400 calories, more the faster you go
- It's approximately 5 miles and
- generally it only takes around 10 minutes to walk a 1000 steps, and you don't need to do the 10,000 steps in one go.
What tips do you have to get to your 10,000 steps a day?
* This is a collaborative post and I received these shoes for the purposes of this review. All views and opinions are my own.