Tuesday, May 10, 2005
If I were gonna use walking for health I use a stop watch, and a workout principle called progressive resistance.
Stop Watch? Yuppers. Here's what I'd do if I was walking (and I got this idea from reading - Charles Staley again I think):
Pick a distance, we'll use 1 mile as an example.
I would walk 1/2 mile and see how much time that took. I would work toward walking the other 1/2 mile in the same amount of time. If it took me longer to walk the second half, I probably picked too long a walk.
If you don't have a measurement just use time. It takes X minutes to get to here, it should take me the same amount of time to get back.
You could use blocks if you're walking your neighborhood, but time would be a rougher guess based on the amount of traffic, if you see a neighbor you talk to, etc.
What the heck is Progressive Resistance?
Progressive resistance, I think you can also call it periodization, is the idea that our bodies adapt and so what was a hard workout today may not be challenging in the future. So we continue to make it harder on purpose. Lots of guys do this in weights by increasing the weight - some times too fast and getting hurt. We can do this slower and get long term success.
How? In walking you could do it two ways. One would be to walk further. Once you get to where you're walking out and back at the same speed and its a little easy, add some distance. A 1/4 mile, another block, another 2 minutes, whatever works for YOU. The other would be to walk faster. If you are walking 3 miles in 45 minutes (guessing) try doing it in 44, then 43, and so on.
You can increase super gradually, like once a month, or a little faster, like once a week. Or every single session! If you increase on every session you can try increasing twice, then going down once. This will help you maintain your increase and ensure that you recuperate sufficiently.
Hope that helps!
Remember that taking care of ourselves is step one of real Self-Determination! You're worth it!