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I'm more energetic than ever at 61 – here's how

Nina Barough, founder of breast cancer charity Walk the Walk shares her weekly routine for feeling energetic, toned and in control

Melanie Macleod
Wellness Editor
10 May 2024
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"I hate the word exercise," Nina Barough admits. "I think it's an immediate turn-off." That said, at 61, Nina says she's more active than ever, hiking, walking marathons and doing Pilates on a weekly basis.

Of her active approach to life, Nina says: "I've always been conscious that the better you take care of the inside, the more you can do on the outside," and she certainly has no plans to slow down any time soon.

"I'm a high-energy person and I'm feeling better than ever," she says, adding: "I really feel the difference if I can't do my weekly routine of walking and Pilates. I find myself getting twitchy."

Woman walking in a white t shirt
Nina Barough credits walking for keeping her fit

Nina says Pilates and walking are a beautiful combination, explaining that she finds walking energising. "You can be feeling jaded or down in the dumps, but going out for a walk provides an immediate boost and an injection of energy."

As founder of the breast cancer charity Walk the Walk and the iconic Moonwalk, which is in its 26th year, it's no surprise that Nina loves a walk, telling HELLO!: "Walking used to feel like the poor relation of running, but we've come a long way."

We spoke to the inspiring 61-year-old about why walking is the perfect activity, whatever your age, as well as everything she wants you to know about getting into walking. We bet you'll be lacing up your trainers after reading her inspirational take on the everyday activity.

1. Walking is the easiest activity

"I hate using the word exercise because I think it's an immediate turn-off, but I'd say walking is the easiest activity for anyone to do.

"Everybody's got a starting point. It might be walking 500 yards down to the local shop, but I always say that if you can get yourself out three times a week, no matter how far you walk, you'll see the benefits."

Runner feet running on road closeup on shoe.© Getty
Walking is one of the easiest activities to get into

2. You'll feel a difference fast

"After going out three times a week for two weeks, you absolutely feel a difference. Within a couple of weeks, you'll be able to look back and see the progress you've made, whether it's walking further or faster.

"Whatever the goal is, you'll feel such a sense of achievement."

INSPIRATION: I'm doing my first ultramarathon at 46 – and I've never been a runner! 

3. Walking is toning

"Walking is fantastic for toning. I think of it as the perfect activity because it uses all of your body, toning your quads, helping your balance and you actually feel your body becoming more toned."

4. You'll feel more confident

"Walking gives confidence because you're feeling in control of your body.

"We've all been through stages in our life where we haven't been as active as we should, but walking is so attainable that you'll feel your confidence growing knowing you're doing something just for yourself."

woman walking in a field in a pink top
Nina says walking is me-time

5. Walking is me-time

"You'll soon find your weekly walks are precious, giving you space to yourself and helping you feel more powerful."

READ: I’m 61 and these are the 3 exercises I do daily for a strong core 

Nina's walking advice

1. Find your time

"I'm a better morning walker than night. After I've been for an early stroll, whatever happens in the rest of the day, I've given myself that time and it feels really special.

"I love the beginning of the day because it's full of promise, and when you're up early it feels like you're part of something unique that no one else is seeing."

INSPIRATION: Over 60? Add this strengthening exercise to your daily routine 

2. Wear the right footwear

"The beauty of walking is that as long as you've got comfortable clothes, you can do it. That said, the most important thing is having shoes that are comfortable!"

3. Team up with a friend

"Walking with a friend keeps you accountable. Everybody feels unmotivated sometimes, but having a friend who relies on you to go out with them encourages you to stick to the plan. And when they're feeling low energy, you can do the same for them."

Find out more about The Moonwalk

Introducing HELLO!'s Second Act

Two women out shopping for the day, taking a break and sitting down on a couch in a clothing store together.© Getty

HELLO! wanted to create a space dedicated to sharing incredible stories from midlife; somewhere you can find inspiring stories of like-minded women, living their best life beyond 45.

Enter, Second Act...

For too long, we were expected to fade into the background when we hit 45, but we're here to reframe your Second Act as a celebratory, exciting new chapter with endless possibilities ahead.

From women who embarked on new careers in their fifties, to those who travelled the world alone after their children left home, to women who finally felt confident when they reached their forties, Second Act is devoted to celebrating the incredible stories of midlife, and we'd love to have you along for the journey - because being part of a community makes everything more enjoyable.

Visit HELLO!'s Second Act hub 

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