Celebrity fitness trainer Ramona Braganza may be most known for sculpting Hollywood bodies, including Jessica Alba and Halle Berry, but her love of fitness and quest for excellence has facilitated the transformation of hundreds of bodies and attitudes worldwide. Recently she has taken on her latest challenge, CARE Canada’s Walk in Her Shoes.

Get ready to do some serious walking
I have always considered walking to be a terrific way to get fit, so when I was contacted by CARE to help them out with such a unique and worthy cause, I was more than excited to participate. CARE’s Walk in Her Shoes is a great way to get fit, and to understand, for a moment, what it feels like to be one of millions of women or girls around the world -- walking an average of six kilometres (8,000 steps) every day, to collect essentials such as water or firewood, carrying the equivalent of a heavy suitcase -- just to survive.

Here in Canada, the average person walks only 2,000 steps a day. For us, walking is not a means of survival, but it can be a great way to get fit. Walking 8,000 steps, or six kilometres, over the course of a day has great benefits. Studies show that walking can reduce the risk of heart disease, lower blood pressure and reduce body fat to name a few. It requires no special training and no special equipment and it’s something we are meant as humans to do naturally, and it can actually be a lot of fun.

Participating in the Walk in Her Shoes one-week challenge is a great way to get hooked on walking on a regular basis. The pedometer you receive is a great tool to keep you accountable -- almost like having a trainer right there beside you. As a trainer, I have a few tips for you. I will share with you my tips over the next two weeks as I train alongside other Walk in Her Shoes participants, visit metronews.ca/walkinhershoes to learn more.

The most important tip to help you get started: the shoes you use must fit well, flex well and give you enough support. Walking shoes should be flat. Comfortable running shoes work best for most walking programs.

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