This May is National Walking Month, a campaign by UK charity Living Streets which hopes to promote walking as a free and easy form of exercise for people of all levels of fitness.

Personal trainer and weight loss coach Anne Iarchy wants you to walk your way to better health this month by committing to just one mile each day.

Anne is calling for people across the UK and beyond to sign up to her initiative for National Walking Month, with a £5 sign-up fee going to the Haven’s House Children’s Hospice. You can join her in parks across north London if you wish, or choose from one of many footpaths, bridleways and National Trails across Buckinghamshire.

She often sets goals such as this but admits to having to scale it back to just one mile a day after a surprising recent failure to achieve the NHS’ recommended 10,000 steps a day.

“I have a Facebook group where once a month I set a challenge, a few months ago it was 10,000 steps. We all failed, including me. So I thought, a mile is between 15-30 minutes depending on how fast you walk and it’s something that everybody should be able to put aside.

“That’s the challenge – to set aside some time for yourself to really take ownership of your health. It’s not a huge commitment like 10,000 steps but it is still a commitment.”

It does not matter to Anne where you live, what you do or how busy you are because she knows how important it is. She explains: “I’ve always been sporty, but I used to work in IT in the corporate world and I used to travel a lot. I had a sweet tooth and I always struggled with my weight, I never managed to find someone that would help me lead a healthy lifestyle within my own commitments. That’s what I try to do with my clients.

“I always said, when I change jobs it will be easier but when I changed jobs it never got easier. It’s really to try and learn how you can integrate a healthy lifestyle within your commitments. You’ve got work, you’ve got kids; whatever it is you’ve got it’s not easy. Sometimes you need a helping hand.”

Anne moved from Antwerp, Belgium to London in 2002 for work, but it wasn’t until she trained to be a personal trainer and nutritionist, beginning her new career in 2010, that she was really able to transform her life and overhaul her health. Now she lives and works as a personal trainer and weight loss coach in North London.

“Even today sometimes I struggle to fit it into my days. Because I work with busy people my days tend to change so I sometimes just need to plan and prepare. That was my biggest lesson.”

Talking to Anne about our efforts to live healthy lifestyles it is clear that “plan and prepare” is something of a mantra for her. She clearly values making small tweaks to your life rather than temporarily committing to something you cannot uphold.

She tells me: “Obviously we all want fast results but unfortunately that’s not going to happen. Once you plan and prepare it makes life so much easier. For example I don’t like to cook everyday so I batch cook.

“There’s so many ways to fit it into your life. I’ve got clients that have lots of meetings and dinners or lunches so there again you can plan in advance. Every restaurant has a menu online so just think of what you can eat instead of getting there and getting tempted.

“It’s making people realise that life is not everything or nothing, it’s life. When people diet today they feel deprived, you shouldn’t be deprived.

“People say I’m going to do it for a few months and then reach my goal, but what’s going to happen after that? How will you keep it?”

If you would like to walk your way to better health and help with Anne’s charity work, Buckinghamshire has an abundance of beautiful places for a wander and has spots suitable for all abilities.

The Ashridge Estate between Berkhamsted and Ringshall offers easy and level paths accessible to people with impaired mobility and users of wheelchairs, mobility scooters and pushchairs; offering free mobility vehicles if you book in advance.

To join or support Anne contact, For walks in Buckinghamshire visit or