Tag Archives: walking program

Fitness Walking {Food & Fitness Link-Up}

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Since this is a short week, it’s not going to be much of a Food & Fitness Plan for me…

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Food:

There is only one cooking night available this week. I don’t want to go grocery shopping, so I’ll be throwing together some things from the freezer, fridge and pantry. Wish me luck!

Fitness:

It’s not a secret that I’ve been failing here lately. I thought I found my calling when I started running. I thought it was the thing that worked for me. I had races I’d signed up for. I had a schedule, a plan in place. I found such a sense of accomplishment every time I improved. I loved the endorphin rush.

But since my back surgery and slowly got back int the swing of things, I thought I could begin the Couch t0 5k again. But every time I have pain in my back, I don’t want to risk it getting worse. I think the pounding may be doing the harm. I’ve decided once I’ve lost the weight, I can go back and try running again. That’ll be less tough on the back.

For now, I need to get back to walking. Besides, it is the best form of exercise for the back. And for this crazy week, the plan is just to get 10,000 steps in a day.

Fitness Walking

So let’s talk a bit about Fitness Walking. Having been a runner for an entire year, walking just sounds so boring to me now. While I do find a greater sense of accomplishment and release from running, we all know walking is a great form of inexpensive exercise that anyone can do.

The debate on why running can be more beneficial to your health weight loss can be found here… and here.

Yet we all know that walking is an excellent place to start for those who cannot run quite yet. And it can be easier on the body.

I recently picked up a copy of the Weight Watchers Complete Walking Guide from a second hand store. Here are some facts the surprised me or were new to me:

  • In a study from Duke University Medical Center, researchers found that walking 11 miles a week for 6 months prevents people from gaining visceral fat – the fat around your stomach and internal organs that’s linked to an increased risk of diabetes and heart disease.

  • Just like running, regular walking strengthens bones. The faster and longer you walk, the greater the benefit.

  • Studies have shown that you can help preserve your memory, attention and learning ability as you age by walking a minimum of 2 to 3 hours a week at an easy pace, defined as walking a mile in 20 to 30 minutes.”

  • Studies have shown that women who walk more than 10,000 steps per day have less body fat, a lower BMI and a lower waist/hip circumference than those who walked less than 6,000 steps per day.

  • 75% of successful maintainers recorded in the National Weight Loss Registry list walking as their main form of physical activity.

  • It’s normal to feel some aches and pains particularly in your calves, shins and hips. The pain will ease as your muscles and joints adjust to being challenged in new ways.  Learn the difference between aches and soreness and true pain where you are pushing too hard and should back off!

  • Blister Deterrent: Use water or rubbing alcohol on your feet before walking. Dry feet completely before putting on socks.

  • City Walking – A study from the University of Pittsburgh showed that walking at a leisurely pace still gets results. You shouldn’t even try to speed-walk down city streets dotted with delivery men, commuters and people pushing strollers. Researchers at the Uuniversity of Colorado at Boulder found that obese individuals burned more calories and reduced the impact on their joints when they walked at a leisurely place over a longer period of time (about 2 miles per hour) than when they walked in faster, shorter spurts.

     I need to remember these things when I start t think of walking as boring, especially on a treadmill in the winter. 😉

How do you make exercise more fun?

Cheers~
Carrie

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Getting LOST (And so can you.)

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So yesterday I promised you a Wine Wednesday post… But it didn’t happen. First, I realized that I LOST my notes on the wines Jared and I tasted at our most recent wine dinner. 😦 {He has since promised to be my secretary from now on.} Then, after an extra long day {read: busy/hectic} at work, I spent the evening drinking the stuff with my friend Stacy who made last minute plans to come up and visit for the evening! Therefore, life trumps blog posting. I sure you all can understand. 😉

On Tuesday, I posted about a Walking Program I have put into place until I am cleared to run again after my back surgery. I needed something to keep me on a schedule and help show progress. And while this program provides the schedule of increasing the amount of time each week, it doesn’t really do anything to hold me accountable for how fast or how far I go.

That’s when I got LOST.

Thanks to Megan from I Run for Wine {Gotta love that!}, I learned about the Get LOST in Running virtual race series. It’s based on the TV series LOST! No Kidding! Do you know what a LOSTie I am?! I’ve been wanting to re-watch the series for ages!

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I was intrigued by the race series because:

1) Each race is based and focused around a Dharma Initiative “Station” on the LOST island.

2) When you sign up for and complete each race, you receive a race medal with that station’s emblem!

3) Each race distance is based on Hurley’s winning lottery numbers that reoccur often in the series: 4 – 8 – 15 – 16 – 32 – 42.

4) Therefore the first race is 4k, the second is 8k, the third is 15k and so on…

5) As the distances get bigger, you can spread your “mileage” throughout the week.

6) There is no specific date to do the runs. You can sign up until spots are sold out!

7) They are meant to be beach and trail runs {I mean, they were on an island, duh!}, but you can do whatever you want.

8) There is a final medal for completing the entire series!

Despite the fact that I cannot currently run, I signed up anyway. I thought it would be a great way to increase my distances and track my progress. My current plan is to do one station per week. However, I am going to be flexible about that and listen to my body.

I even downloaded the soundtrack to Season 1 of LOST and listened to it on a few of my walks. It’s amazing how such music can just clear your head!

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Station 1 – Hydra 4k

At the end of the second week of my walking schedule, when I was just starting to do more than a walk around the block, I decided to do my first LOST Virtual Race – Station 1 – Hydra 4k. My mom was in town, so we completed it together, just walking around my neighborhood.

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I posted this to the Get LOST in Running! Facebook group and despite my slooooowww tpace for a running group, I got great support. I indicated that I would really love to run these, but I’m going to be walking to increase my back strength and show progress before I am cleared to run again. Joe, the series organizer, was highly encouraging. In fact, I’ve recently seen that he’s updated the informational part of the Get LOST in Running website:

As the distances get bigger, they can be split in any way you would like and then combined.  Please feel free to run, walk or even crawl if need be.​​

Love that! Thank you, Joe, for getting me out and moving and motivating me in a fun way. Thank you, Megan, for introducing me!

Station 2 – Arrow 8k

Last week, my walking schedule had me doing 25-minute walks with a long walk at the end of the week. I decided to make the long walk my Station 2 – Arrow 8k Virtual Race. I mapped out an 8k that included Lake Calhoun and a bit of Lake of the Isles – two lakeswhich comprise the Minneapolis Chain of Lakes. {Hey, it’s the closest thing I’m going to get to a beach in Minneapolis!} I decided to go on a Sunday afternoon. Rob asked if he could join me! So, off we went.

Here’s the thing…

We actually got LOST!

I thought I had mapped out a good starting point. But with construction and crowds we ended up parking elsewhere. Then I couldn’t figure out where the trail that connected Lake Calhoun connected with Lake of the Isles. And Rob was fast. He kept me moving. As we neared the end, I decided we’d just do the 5k around the lake and I’d do the 8k another time.

But after a while, the crowds thinned, the lake seemed calmer… and we could no longer see across it. Something felt wrong. I checked my Google map on my phone. Somehow we got on the path and ended up on Lake of the Isles! We tried to follow the map to find a way back to Lake Calhoun and our original parking lot. We slowed down a bit. I was tired! This is the furthest I’ve walked in a long time. But we actually finished a full 8k just about a half mile shy of where we parked!

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This week, I’m up to 30-minute walks during the week. We are also doing the Dog Day 5k again on Saturday! Of course, I won’t be running it this year, but we have another dog to walk anyway… 😉

The plan, right now, is to do the Station 3 – Swan 15k this Sunday, weather permitting. Rob said he wants to join me again. We mapped out doing three of the lakes in The Chain. It’ll be a long one… But now that I think about it, I’ve always wanted to measure how far I walk when I travel. I bet a 15k would be just about right for a day of sight-seeing.

The stations are still open, if you want to join me in the LOST Virtual Races!

Are you/were you a LOST fan?

If so, tell me about your favorite character, episode or something you liked about it!

Cheers~
Carrie

Finding a Walking Program – How I Got LOST

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I remember the days when I could walk about a 12-minute mile. They were the days when my mom and I would power walk the neighborhood where I grew up. We’d kill four miles in under an hour.

About a year ago, I was happy to run that fast.

Since my back surgery, I’ve been healing and haven’t been cleared to run yet. I’ve been adapting. At my first physical therapy appointment, about 7 weeks post-op, I was given what seemed like simple exercises that have proven to be more challenging than I thought.

I can really tell the difference if I skip a day of my PT exercises. However, when I do them religiously, things start to improve. It’s amazing how slow of a process this is. Yet, when I think back, I know I am doing so much better than those first few weeks after surgery, not to mention the months before I was diagnosed with an extreme herniated disk!

I was also told to begin a Walking Program.

But how does one begin a Walking Program? You may be thinking… “Well, just get out and walk!” My physical therapist gave me a pedometer and said just to track how many steps I do in a day and keep increasing it. That’s all fine and dandy. But you know what I’m really missing?

I’m missing the endorphins of aerobic activity.

I don’t just want to track my daily steps. I want to feel like I’ve accomplished something.I’m missing the structure of a running schedule  leading up to the end result – a race… Then repeating the process for improvement.

I need to see progress.

So I started looking up walking training programs. Did you know that there are people out there who train to walk marathons?! While I have no intention of doing that, I knew I wanted to find a way to increase my time and mileage every week. When I found this link on training to walk a 10k, I created this schedule:

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It’s a little blurry, I know. And it’s very basic so that I can change it based on how I am feeling. You may also notice that it is taped to my mirror. Whenever I have a goal, I have a chart or motivator of some sort taped to my bathroom mirror so that it is the first thing I see when I get up. It reminds me of my goal and measures my progress.

I originally mentioned that I was hoping to get back to running in early June. My doc said at my six-week post-op appointment that after six weeks of physical therapy that I could slowly get back in to running again. However, as much as I have that urge to run {who thought I’d ever say that?!}, as much as I have that pang in my stomach to want it so badly when I drive by other runners on the road, I can tell by my body that I’m not ready. I still have some more physical therapy to do. There is still a lot of tightness in my muscles from trying to protect my back. I still need to continue my PT exercises and walk daily. I plan to complete this walking program first.

It’s giving me a place to start. The first week, I walked around the block for about 15 minutes at a leisurely place – sometimes with, sometimes without the dogs. {When I first started walking again I could barely walk 1 mile or and at 2.5 miles an hour without difficulty or being in pain.} This walking program gives me a chance to start out slowly and begin increasing my time, just as I did when I was aiming for running 5ks.

However, my goal is not to walk a 10k.

I have another motivator instead!

While this walking program is all fine and dandy with increasing the time for walks, it does nothing to encourage me to go faster.

I want to increase time AND mileage every week.

Come back on Thursday {after Wine Wednesday!} to learn how I got LOST!

What are your fitness goals for June?

Cheers~
Carrie