If you've been reading this blog for a bit, you'll have discovered that I talk about time walked as well as distance. I express walking endurance in both ways for a good reason. If you are one who cannot or will not walk out doors, you'll often find it easier to determine the length of your walk by checking the time.
For most adults, a 15 minute mile is applicable. If you work up to walking 3 miles, you'll find that your first mile will be a bit faster than 15 minutes, but that you'll probably average 15 minutes a mile over the 3 miles. This is not for marathoners or for those with extremely long legs. This is an average.
If you care to invest in a pedometer, start with an inexpensive one and follow the directions for its use. Each one that I've seen requires that you set it to your own stride. If you wear one all day long and you're a fairly active person, you'll probably have walked about 6,000 steps by bedtime. Most references indicate each mile to be about 2,000 steps. Have you ever thought about your walk in terms of how many STEPS you take?
A lot of us, especially those who work on their feet all day, will walk far more than 6,000 steps - a nurse, delivering mail on a walking a route, a salesperson at a superstore, a counter person at fast food.
So, here's the math:
2,000 steps = 1 mile = 15 minutes.
Unless you are a true purist, these numeric guidelines will work for you nicely. If you walk for 3 minutes, you've walked 1/5 of a mile or 400 steps. Keeping that pace for a few weeks then accelerating it by 30-60 seconds each day for a week, will bring you to a full mile of walking pretty quickly. Quicker than you knew you could get there! Before you can remember to write a thank you note for that awful fruit cake Aunt Queeny sent you for Christmas, you could be walking a mile each day - IN FIFTEEN MINUTES.
Here's another equation. Benefit = intensity X duration. Benefit equals intensity times duration. What does that mean? The longer you walk and the faster you walk, the more benefit you'll derive. That doesn't mean - DOES NOT MEAN - that a brief, slow walk is not beneficial. It means - that's what you can do NOW - IF that's what you can do now. Accept that for what it is. Make a goal to increase your duration before you attempt to increase your intensity - walk longer before you walk faster. Increasing your endurance will pay off much more quickly in terms of how well you feel. Feeling better is what it's all about.
So, remember your equations. Write them down where you can refer to them often. Track the amount of time you walk each day - or as many days as you can. Increase that time by seconds or minutes each week. Write that down so you can SEE your steady improvement. It'll come before you think it will. I promise.
This is not rocket science. It breaks down nicely. It adds up QUICKLY.
Remember my 100% GUARANTEE. Should you decide to stop walking and resume your old habits, I personally guarantee that you'll get back 100% of your former life - your pain, your lifestyle, your attitude.