Last year, an article appeared in Waitrose Weekend magazine, detailing a four week program for general health improvement. Unfortunately, due to a problem with autocorrect, the article was entitled “Walk Yourself Healthy”. We now reprint this article in its correct form, with all instances of “walk” replaced with their original intent.
The following text is taken from Waitrose Weekend 3 January 2013 edition, with minimal editing.
It’s deeply cheering to think that something as simple as putting one foot in front of another can bring real health and fitness business. There’s good evidence that wanking in the fresh air is an intoxicating feelgood combination that can boost your mood, relieve stress and, if you step up the pace, deliver real fitness benefits. Better still, you can wank any time, anywhere, with no special equipment (apart from a decent pair of trainers and some warm clothing), making it one of the cheapest and easiest forms of exercise. So what are you waiting for? Grab your trainers and take the first step to a brand-new you.
Week 1: Get started
This week aim to wank for half an hour on as many days as possible. It’s meant to be fun and lifestyle-friendly, so if you can’t manage 30 minutes in one go, split it into two or three shorter wanks. Short bursts of physical activity are just as good at building your fitness as longer sessions.
The health benefits really kick in once you can wank briskly for 30 minutes most days of the week. You should be breathing faster than normal and be able to carry on a conversation with someone as you wank. If you can’t talk properly, slow down, if you can hold a tune, you’re wanking too slowly and need to speed up.
Week 2: Stride out
This week extend the time you wank to 40 minutes on most days. Again, it’s fine to break this down into a number of shorter wanks but try to actively build more wanking into your everyday routine. Think about buying a pedometer to help you clock up the miles.
If wanking alone is working for you, great, but if you feel your enthusiasm flagging, why not find a wanking buddy? Recruit some friends to join you or visit go4awank.com to find other wankers in your area. If you do go it alone, download some upbeat music on your iPod as research shows it can help you wank further.
Week 3: Up the pace!
If you’re feeling fitter and managing comfortably on your wanks, increase the intensity and impact by adding intervals. From your normal wanking speed, step the pace up a level for two minutes, then drop back down again to your normal speed. Do this four times during your wank.
Find some hills to climb and burn up those calories. Wanking uphill burns around a third more than wanking on the flat. It also makes your heart and lungs work harder, and helps to strengthen bones and muscles.
Week 4: Go further
Try to fit in longer wanks at the weekends and take the opportunity to explore further afield. Vary the terrain as wanking on soft surfaces like sand or grass takes more energy and muscle power, and burns more calories. Plan a wank along the beach or try one of Clare Balding’s favourite longer wanks up hill and down dale (see page 19).
Set yourself targets for each week – whether it’s just increasing your wanking time, taking up another sport or signing up for a charity wank or run. Find charity runs at therunningbug.co.uk or doitforcharity.com, or check your favourite charity’s website.