Dubbed the most influential woman in fitness by Cosmopolitan, Joanna Hall is clearly on a mission. "Walking is the main form of exercise for 8.5 million people in Britain," she says, "but 8.5 million people are not doing it properly, so they aren't seeing the benefits."
With this in mind, Hall runs ''Walk off Weight'' weekends at Champneys in Forest Mere, Hampshire. When I book, I assume that I am in for a jolly – a few
strolls then some serious pampering. But the sessions turn out to be hard work, hilarious at times and potentially life-changing.
Techniques include "stimulating your slow twitch'' (not as rude as it sounds, or looks) – where you locate your lower abdominal muscle with your hand so that you can tense it correctly as you walk, thereby toning up your midriff with every step. This, and other postural tips (see box, right), could apparently help you lose up to 10lb and 10 inches in just 28 days.
Taut and springy in spray-on satin jeans, Hall is living proof that this ''walk well'' method works.
Over four one-hour sessions we learn correct foot placement, hip and neck alignment and arm movements. But first, she hands out pedometers. We will use these to log our activity, then go forth into the real world with them, vowing to "move around more" every single day.