Walking With a Purpose

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Question: I recently had to stop running due to the stress on my joints. I had read that you prefer “walking with a purpose” to running. What exactly is that and how does one begin a program with that in mind? Before, I simply went out and ran.
Answer: “Walking with a purpose” as you put it, is simply a high intensity method of cardio without stressing joints as running does. Forget the idea of speed and slow down your pace to between 3 and 3.2 miles per hour. The difficult part begins with the incline. Since you were an avid runner, you could begin at a 15 percent inline, which is most treadmill’s maximum elevation and shoot for 30 minutes at that pace. If you are less experienced, here’s a method for getting results from a low-impact, high-intensity treadmill routine.
Start your training with a 12 minute goal and do at least 4 sessions each first week. For the second week increase your time to 15 minutes. By the third week, you should be ready for 18 to 20 minutes and for the fourth week push yourself to get 25 minutes. After the fourth week train for 30 minutes per session at a 15 percent incline.
Your training on the treadmill should go like this. Begin at 3 miles per hour with zero incline. Walk at that pace for 1 to 2 minutes to get your stride established. After that point, move the incline up to 15 degrees. Remain there, for at least 5 minutes or longer if you can. Pay attention to how your calves and shins feel. If your calves feel too tight or your shins begin to burn then lower the incline. When you feel you need to rest then return to zero for no more than 2 minutes. After that, return to 15 degrees until you complete 11 minutes. Cool down for a minute with no incline and slow your pace. If you can’t walk at 15 percent elevation, then attempt 10 percent or lower but walk at an incline. Hill climbing is difficult but persevere because your effort produces change.
If you’re not able to walk at a 15 percent incline you have one of two methods to pursue. You can keep increasing the incline but not the time until you can do the 12 minutes at 15%. At that point, you can begin following the outline in the previous paragraph. If you increase the time but not the incline, build your time to 30 minutes at your incline. After that you can increase the incline percentage and work at increasingly higher elevations until you get to 15% for a few minutes at a time.
A good way to keep your time from being totally mind-numbing is to workout with music that you like; music that motivates you. When you have a good selection of songs, songs equals time. Cover the timer. If you are walking for 15 minutes, that’s typically 4 to 5 songs. 30 minutes is 7 or 8 songs with a little left over. That’s a lot easier than watching a timer and hating every second of it. Walking on the treadmill while watching television or reading decreases your calorie output by as much as 22%. If you’re going to do the time then you may as well get the maximum results so focus on your training with music and don’t depend on the radio or music in the gym.
God bless and keep training,
Daryl

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