Posted by: Susan | 2008/11/07

how to adapt my walk programme

Dear Doc, 10 days ago I started doing exercise after many years of doing nothing, by walking 20 minutes every second day. I am 53 years of age. I now walk 2.6 km in 20 minutes, and although I sweat somewhat I don' t feel very tired afterwards. Am I walking too slow or not far enough? Should I walk further at the same pace, or should I walk faster over the same distance? I am only able to walk within our protected neighbourhood, where the surface is flat, so no possibility of walking uphill or over rough terrain. (BTW, I already feel healthier and in better mental shape than before, so even if I' m not doing superwoman exercise it does seem to make me feel better).

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Our expert says:
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Hi Susan

2.6km in 20 minutes is very fast. A lot of people don't run that fast, so I certainly don't think it's too slow! What you might do is increase the duration - make it 30 minutes, if you can. That will help for now. Once you level off at 30 minutes, then you can start to look at mixing in higher intensity, and maybe even short periods of jogging.

So I think it's all on track - you're doing really well so early, just don't be too impatient - better to go slowly now and keep giong longer than to rush now and find yourself injured in a month from now. So build up slowly to 30 minutes, taking about 2 weeks to get there (increase by a couple of minutes every second day), and then look at the distance and trying to cover more.

Good luck

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