Walking success stories
These three women lost 98 pounds altogether, through walking off the weightBy Bonnie Schiedel
The calorie burner
Marilyn Inch, 54, is a group performance specialist at a contact centre in Saint John, N.B.
Height: 5’1”. Starting weight: 230 lb. Current weight: 164 lb.
The challenge Inch’s doctor told her that her weight, blood pressure and cholesterol levels were all too high.
The plan A three-kilometre walk to her job every day, which she kept up for four years. Then she switched to Nordic walking, using walking poles as though she’s cross-country skiing. (This burns one-third more calories than walking alone.) Today Inch walks five evenings a week.
The payoff She’s down four clothing sizes over six years, and her blood pressure and cholesterol levels are normal. “I love the extra oomph that Nordic walking has,” says Inch. “You feel like you’re in four-wheel drive and can go anywhere!”
Narmin Figueiredo, 39, is a director of operations for Child Care Centres in Toronto.
Height: 5’4”. Starting weight: 142 lb. Current weight: 125 lb.
The challenge Figueiredo was searching for an affordable workout that allowed her to take her new baby along.
The plan A free, hour-long stroller fitness class at the mall. Two mornings a week, before the mall opens, Figueiredo and other new moms alternate very brisk one-kilometre laps with resistance and stability-ball workouts.
The payoff She’s down 17 pounds in five months, and her body is toned all over. “This is a real workout!” says Figueiredo. “You’re definitely sweating at the end.”
The role model
Wanda Bourdages, 45, is an addictions counsellor in Saskatoon.
Height: 5’6”. Starting weight: 163 lb. Current weight: 138 lb.
The challenge A new medication packed extra weight onto her frame.
The plan A fitness routine that includes daily 30-minute walks, either on her lunch break or after work.
The payoff She’s down 25 pounds over two years, and has renewed energy and improved self-esteem. “I feel better than I have in years, and I love knowing that I’m a health role model for my three daughters," says Bourdages.
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Best Health Magazine, Spring 2008