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do i have to walk very fast in order to see results?

I have been walking 3 days a week, but everyone passes me by. I have kinda of bad knees so I cannot walk very very fast. I usually walk about 25 minutes. Can I continue with at my current walking level and still results? I tried the treadmill, but find that it puts a bigger strain on my knees than walking on solid ground. Thank You.

Jo Ann

2 answers

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Hi Jo Ann.

Try to avoid comparing yourself against others. Everyone has different challenges and fitness levels, so unless you are in some sort of competition comparisons don't really serve a useful purpose. The better test is how your body is responding to your walking. Are you feeling like your legs are getting stronger or you can perhaps walk a little faster or longer than you did when you first started? Any of that is progress and is good!

You don't mention what your goals are, how long you've been at it, and what fitness level you're at right now so to make specific recommendations is impossible - not that it's that easy to do via this media to begin with.

If you do want to try something more challenging, BeachinIt's suggestion about the treadmill incline is something to try, but I would add if you do try it (the 1% is what I attempt initially with new clients) at first also back down on the speed. There is a rather significant difference between walking on solid ground and treadmill: at the push-off portion of each stride on the treadmill one is just keeping up with the moving belt whereas outside one is actually pushing off the ground to propel one's self forward. This difference results in slightly different, but noticeable body positioning and lower leg action and may be what you were feeling. A 1% treadmill incline mimics the outdoor push-off and may alleviate that discomfort. Something worth trying anyway.

At some point the 3x/week, 25 minutes per will probably not be enough to stimulate growth or even maintain your status quo. At that time you will have to walk faster, longer, on steeper terrain, or mix the walking in with other cardio exercises like bike, elliptical, swimming, cross country skiing, etc. Maybe you are at that stage already. And depending on your overall health and fitness goals other types of exercises may be appropriate.

Keep at it, and let us know how things progress.


5 years ago

Have you tried using the recumbent bike? It won't strain your knees. You can also try setting the incline on the treadmill around 1 and see if that helps any.

BeachinIt 6.8k
5 years ago

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member since May '12


5/8/2012 at 9:51 AM