Saturday, December 27, 2008


How will you know where you stand in the Walking Diva's Endurance Chart? The Walking Diva is ME! I have developed a category of walkers from my own experience and a bit of research. These are guidelines - just that. Not written in granite. Not handed down from the Mayo Clinic. Just guidelines.

Beginners - people who have no walking routine at all. People who walk no farther than from the sofa to the kitchen. People with arthritis, fibromyalgia, joint or muscle pain, heart disease, diabetes, or other physical impairment that slows them down, causes pain, or makes walking difficult, painful, or uncomfortable. The initial goal for these individuals is 10 minutes a day in increments of 60-90 seconds each. This will work for people who use scooters to get around. This will work for people who WILL NOT walk unless they absolutely must and only do so to meet their minimal activities of daily life (ADL).

Steppers - people who can comfortably walk around their homes and from their cars to the grocery store or other location. These are not people who will usually walk for other purposes but they are not physically limited from walking for 10 minutes a day. Their goal will be to walk 15 minutes a day in increments from 90 seconds to 3 minutes. Many will have jobs, full or part time, and may have other health issues but nothing that confines them to sofa or scooter.

Striders - people who are able to walk with no difficulty for 15 to 20 minutes each day in their ADL. Typically, these people participate in NO other form of physical activity, either for fun or health benefit. But, they suffer no physical impairment to walking.

Strutters - people who are easily able to walk for 20 or more minutes per day in their ADL and who maybe unmotivated to walk farther for their health.

Champions - people who easily walk for 30 or more minutes per day in their ADL, who have no physical impediment to walking longer, but who may be unmotivated to walk farther for their health.

So, where are you in this scheme? Maybe you don't fit exactly into any of these categories. That's fine. These are just guidelines and you should begin where you are comfortable. If you are confined, either by your physician or yourself, to your chair or scooter, this is the perfect plan for you. You have nothing to lose. It gets easier every day. You don't need a doctor's order (although you may feel free to consult your physician to reassure yourself).

Again, I guarantee you'll feel better in a couple of weeks.

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