In much the same way as when Bootleg Jeans reappear back in vogue, a smug smile and a whoop of joy escaped my lips when I read a recent article in Elle Magazine proclaiming that ‘Walking is back in fashion!’ I don’t mean ‘power walking’, ‘Nordic Walking’, 5k timed trial walking or treadmill air-con fuelled incline walking. I mean plain old fashioned ambling in the countryside, stomping in the woods or taking in the breeze on the beach. LISS – ‘Low Intensity Steady State’ workouts are fast becoming the exercise regime ‘du jour’ – these are defined as any type of cardio-based exercise that can be done at a sustained pace (walking, cycling, swimming, hiking) where you can work at 60% of your max heart rate for 45-60mins. Basically whilst exercising you should be able to maintain a conversation without getting too breathless. For anyone with a dog, or that simply likes walking, we can already appreciate the very many benefits of a daily walk: a chance to reconnect with the seasons, nature or your neighbourhood, a time for reflection and to order your thoughts (or compose blogs!) or a good conversation with a friend whilst getting fitter at the same time. The ‘no pain no gain’ generation are losing out on a significant amount of physical and mental wellbeing pursuing punishing, goal-fuelled exercise regimes which, as the author of the Elle article expresses, left her ‘dreading her workouts’. Exercise should be a pleasure, to be enjoyed not endured – there’s enough in modern life that causes stress and load on our systems without adding to it. Low impact though doesn’t mean low effect – this form of ‘slow exercise’ builds an underlying level of fitness and stamina that can serve you well in all areas of life. As a Pilates teacher, functional fitness & movement is of the utmost interest and importance to me. Alongside regular Pilates, walking is a prime activity that I always recommend. Walking makes total sense to our bodies! We are evolved to do it, it is low impact on joints, free to enjoy and can be done almost anywhere at any time of day, or night if so inclined! So, before you don your gym kit for another session on the treadmill in an air conditioned hutch consider turning left (or right) outside your front door, breathe deep and see where your feet take you for the next hour. And me… maybe after this walk I’ll be fetching those bootlegs down from the attic – it can’t be long until that fashion tide turns again.