Weight Loss Support - can't walk fast enough




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ELBS717
01-19-2012, 09:40 PM
Since I'm a grad student and I have zero extra time for exercise during my day, I've chosen to walk to my classes every day so that I get at least a little "accidental" exercise. It's 2.1 miles to my classes on campus, and I time myself taking about 45 minutes on my lazy/tired mornings. Other mornings I try to speed walk the whole way... when I timed myself the other day, I walked as fast as I possibly could the entire way, and by the time I got there I was nice and sweaty for my 2 hour class (lovely, eh?). Unfortunately, it apparently still took me about 35 minutes... which works out to be only 3.4 mph! I estimate this to be right since on my treadmill I can't really walk faster than 3.5 mph w/o needing to hold on for dear life.
Why do I walk so slow? I keep reading online that I need to walk 3.5-4.0 in order to get a good work out, but I literally cannot walk any faster than about 3.4. It makes me feel pathetic. Is it just that I don't have the muscle mass, or is it because I just have a short stride? (I'm only 5'2") Does anyone else have this problem?


HokieLoki
01-19-2012, 09:46 PM
you're only 5'2." Us shorter ladies have shorter legs! It would be impossible for me to only walk 4.0, that is jogging for me, even when I was tiny and in great shape. As long as you are going as fast as your legs take you and your heart rate is going up, you are doing fine. I'm sure with time you will start going faster also.

aliasihaya
01-19-2012, 09:46 PM
<sigh> that's a hard one to answer. Weight loss and the formula to do it really is different for everyone. My opinion is to do what you can do and it's better if you weren't doing it at all. I know that sounds cheesy and is probably not what you want to hear. But that's my advice. I find that when I devote my whole being into weight loss that it doesn't work. It's only until I need to work it into my daily routine that I see any results. You're doing the right thing in that you're maximizing your workout between classes. But I'd also stress to not stress yourself out between classes. You can always also have a designated time to walk that has nothing to do with making a class. That might relieve some of this. But I truly appreciate how you're multitasking.

In the end I think you're doing the right things. I just think you're expecting too much out of the results. Don't depend on the time it takes to get you from class to class as the be all end all. Because that's a daily routine that you have to do that may change all the tiem. What works for me is consistent exercise for weight loss. So I guess I'm saying to decouple the two. Not sure if that's possible but I think it might help.

Hopefully this helped. Regardless Good Luck! I'm sure you'll figure it out.


sontaikle
01-19-2012, 10:10 PM
You're doing great incorporating more activity into your routine! Getting it in any way you can is great, but try to find time for something else when the walking gets a bit too easy.

you're only 5'2." Us shorter ladies have shorter legs!

Yes! This has to be taken into account! I'm 5'3" and I notice what is just regular walking pace for my 6'3" fiance is almost jogging for me! He doesn't even realize when he walks faster sometimes until I jog after him and yell at him to slow down! :joker:

DietVet
01-19-2012, 10:20 PM
I think it's your height. 3.5 is a nice amble for me--it doesn't raise my heart rate at all.

In any case, it's the intensity rather than the speed that is important. If your heart rate is elevated and you're a little short of breath you're doing good. No doubt you'll get a little faster as you get fitter. No worries.

JohnP
01-19-2012, 10:29 PM
In any case, it's the intensity rather than the speed that is important. If your heart rate is elevated and you're a little short of breath you're doing good. No doubt you'll get a little faster as you get fitter. No worries.

Pretty much exactly right except that you don't even need to be short of breath. Simply elevating your heart rate through brisk walking is enough to get most of the cardio health benefits.

valalltogether
01-20-2012, 12:42 AM
consider biking? its exercise still and it will get you there faster.

Kahokkuri
01-20-2012, 01:18 AM
you're only 5'2." Us shorter ladies have shorter legs! It would be impossible for me to only walk 4.0, that is jogging for me, even when I was tiny and in great shape.

Great point. I'm quite tall–5'9"–and I find that the guides on treadmills are totally inaccurate. 4mph is my quick walk (but not speed-walk) pace.

OP, keep your heart going and your legs working as best you can and I suspect that you'll see the benefits over time, even if the numbers don't match up to what you've read.

JayEll
01-20-2012, 07:43 AM
Wherever it was that you read that speed is wrong. There is no need to kill yourself trying to get to 4.0. This isn't an endurance test--you're just trying to get some activity. Don't make the mistake of thinking you have to be some kind of athlete to be doing things right.

IMO 3.0 or 3.2 is a brisk enough pace. Just leave sooner so you're not late.

Jay

Mamalicious
01-20-2012, 08:10 AM
Im a shortie too and I cant walk very fast. I'm at about the same speed as you. I make up for it by walking farther. Even if this is your only exercise right now its better than no activity. You are still doing positive things for your body.

thistoo
01-20-2012, 10:59 AM
It is your height. I'm 5'0" and even at my peak fitness, when I was running 3 miles regularly, I still couldn't walk much faster than 3.5 on the treadmill without being in some serious pain. We take smaller steps because our legs are shorter. It's just the way we're built, unfortunately.

Sunshine73
01-20-2012, 11:15 AM
Another member of the shorty club here. Not only am I short but my legs are short! Ugh! There's no way I could walk that fast - it would have to be a jog to move that quickly. Don't beat yourself up - if you are moving fast enough to work up a sweat then you're moving fast enough to get fit and burn some calories!

Rapunzel
01-20-2012, 11:18 AM
consider biking? its exercise still and it will get you there faster.

She had a brand new bike for about two days before it was stolen from her apartment complex. Yes, she locked it up. (she got really sick of people asking her a question as stupid as that after it was stolen!)

valalltogether
01-20-2012, 11:23 AM
She had a brand new bike for about two days before it was stolen from her apartment complex. Yes, she locked it up. (she got really sick of people asking her a question as stupid as that after it was stolen!)

OH. oops..sorry to bring up such a sore subject. that's awful :(

dragonwoman64
01-20-2012, 01:26 PM
ah, well, 3.4 is the pace I use on the treadmill, at the same incline (3.4). It gets me sweating (and I'm 5'9"), though I'm a good bit bigger weight wise than you. It's a faster walk for me. So I don't see it as "only." heh heh.

d130
01-20-2012, 02:31 PM
I'm another shortie throwing in a vote for - it's your height. I regularly walk into work via the train station and it's 1.7 miles; I manage to do it in about 30-35 minutes. I can't really get it down past 30 minutes no matter how hard I try.

And I'm another one with a taller hubby - I often have to remind him to walk at short people speed otherwise I'm stuck trying jog to keep up with him.

Sum38
01-20-2012, 02:35 PM
I am only 5'3" and I can do a 5 mile walk outside, with hills for 4.6 mph...BUT it takes practice. -- being short does not hold you back :)

Just keep doing it and each day you will get faster and faster.

Sum38
01-20-2012, 02:37 PM
You're doing great incorporating more activity into your routine! Getting it in any way you can is great, but try to find time for something else when the walking gets a bit too easy.



Yes! This has to be taken into account! I'm 5'3" and I notice what is just regular walking pace for my 6'3" fiance is almost jogging for me! He doesn't even realize when he walks faster sometimes until I jog after him and yell at him to slow down! :joker:

LOL...my husband is nearly 6'3 and fit and trim and I outwalk him with my 5'3" body :) :) Bring your other half to me and I will outwalk him as well. :)

LandonsBaby
01-20-2012, 03:37 PM
I am a slow walker. My husband is 6'5" and walks about twice as fast as I do. It drives me nuts!! But like Kristiina said, I'm sure we can get faster with practice.

JohnP
01-20-2012, 05:42 PM
... you must know that the process of fat burning starts after the first 15 min of excercise

This is not correct. Wether exercise burns fat or not depends. When you wake up in the morning - if you lie perfectly still - you're still going to be burning fat.

All exercise burns calories. The longer you exercise the more you burn. Whether those calories come from fat, digesting carbs, or muscle glycogen does not matter. The idea that one must exercise for 15 minutes before they start gaining a benefit for fat loss is false. Sure - exercise begins the process of lowering insulin levels in the body so that fat may be better utlized for fuel

When it comes to the health benefits of cardio research has shown that it doesn't matter if you do 30 minutes straight or 10 + 10 + 10 throughout the day.

ELBS717
01-20-2012, 05:55 PM
LOL thanks Ape... I mean "Rapunzel"
it's ok, I think I've come to enjoy walking to school and back more, anyhow! Gives me a relaxing pause in my day in between grinds. <3
Thanks for all the support on this thread. It has always aggarvated me that in high school, the teacher said you should be able to walk a mile in 15 minutes "easily" - right.

Seashell84
01-20-2012, 07:14 PM
Great job on incorporating being active into your daily life! I think we all should do what you have and walk more rather than drive (within reason).

It is probably your height. My husband is 6'1" and walks twice as fast as me at 5'4.5". You may also find that as you walk more, you may start walking faster as your body becomes more accustomed to it.

shcirerf
01-20-2012, 11:26 PM
When you are moving, you are lapping everyone on the couch! Good job!:carrot:

Rapunzel
01-21-2012, 01:17 AM
LOL thanks Ape... I mean "Rapunzel"
it's ok, I think I've come to enjoy walking to school and back more, anyhow! Gives me a relaxing pause in my day in between grinds. <3
Thanks for all the support on this thread. It has always aggarvated me that in high school, the teacher said you should be able to walk a mile in 15 minutes "easily" - right.

I remember that! Ms. Schaeffer said "you should be able to speed walk a mile in 16 minutes. Everyone can. If you take longer than that, you have to do it over again and again until you do." That sucked! No wonder when I speed walked on my treadmill just about as fast as I could and I can barely get it under 20 minutes! I'm out of shape....but I was still going as fast as I could without actually jogging! :hug:

ennay
01-21-2012, 04:52 PM
For the record, it isnt necessarily a matter of height OR fitness. Sometimes it's just developing a good walking gait. When I was out of shape I found that my best long (i.e. more than a few minutes) walking speed was around 16-17 minutes per mile. When I could run a 6 minute mile my best walking speed was around 16-17 minutes per mile.

Sum38
01-22-2012, 10:24 AM
ennay is right. I walk utilizing my hips etc. and I always walk faster than anyone I know. -- My neighbor used to jog next to me and she is 5'7".

yoyomadness
01-22-2012, 12:02 PM
I'm just over 5'3" and normally walk 4 mph for 3-4 hours at a time (with some window-shopping breaks). I agree that the key to pace is gait. I use my glutes to push my hips forward. The legs aren't doing all the work, they just swing along with the hips. Also, if you swing your arms faster, your steps will quicken. At least that's what works for me. Good luck!

ELBS717
01-22-2012, 12:20 PM
I had never considered my 'gait' before, so these tips are great. I'll try to really concentrate on the way that I walk and see what I can do to improve/get a better workout. Everyone has been so great on this thread, I never expected so many responses! Thanks so much!

kandyrews
02-06-2012, 12:43 PM
I'm not tall, but I'm not terribly short either. I am 5'6" and I too can't walk faster than 3.4 without holding on for dear life...my feet would come out from under me...it's too fast. I generally walk between 3.0 and 3.2 mph and that's fast for me...it get's me breathing heavily. If I went any faster than 3.4 I'd probably fall. I can't imagine or even see how someone walks as fast as that thing goes after 3.4? I jog at 4.0 - 4.4.

MissGuided
02-07-2012, 12:06 AM
Do what works for your body!
While it's great to feel the increased heart rate, I would never try to keep up with my tall/slim boyfriend if he ever tried to power walk away from me. It may be all mental to think I couldn't, but I'd probably faint from exhaustion.
So, don't feel like you're under what other people consider normal. Increase your rate with time, IF you feel you can handle it. :)

JudgeDread
02-07-2012, 10:06 AM
To burn more calories you can always load up your pack with more books! Add a heavy book each week!

klh0320
04-03-2013, 04:58 PM
You walking rate post is about right. I'm 183 lbs. at 5'2 and walked yesterday and today and it took about 40 minutes to walk 2.1 miles that's 3.0 mph and I walked as fast as I could today and the sides of my calves seized on me and burned to the point I almost gave up but I didn't :)

Missy Krissy
04-03-2013, 06:04 PM
Without having read all of the responses posted before mine, I'll chime in:

I struggle to walk or run fast as well, and I'm a "short" person too. Back before I gained all my weight, when I was actually going to the gym regularly it got progressively easier for me to keep up faster paces on the treadmill after.

Keep walking - it will get easier.

alaskanlaughter
04-03-2013, 06:28 PM
I'm 5 foot 4 and when I started over a year ago my fastest possible walking speed was about 3.6...what I did to get it faster was to "practice" walking faster for small amounts of time, like literally a minute or so at a time...and now I'm up to where a normal treadmill walking speed, a brisk walk, is 3.8 and the fastest possible walk I can maintain is about 4.2...I also take short steps out of habit because I had hip problems in the past...it took effort to kind of get used to taking longer, faster strides

Magrat
04-03-2013, 06:39 PM
I am only 5'3" and I can do a 5 mile walk outside, with hills for 4.6 mph...BUT it takes practice. -- being short does not hold you back :)

Just keep doing it and each day you will get faster and faster.


I'm another shortie (five one) with a fast walking pace. My cruising speed is five miles an hour. There are six footers who can't keep up with me.

Incidentally, a scientist at the lab I work at once measured my stride length when I walk at my normal pace. I have a three foot stride. So I take fast big steps in spite of being short. I have walked like this my whole life.

Silver Sky
04-03-2013, 08:57 PM
Yep, it's a short thing.

When I used to go to the gym, I couldn't do 4mph as a walk; that was a full-fledged jog. I preferred to coast at 3mph. I believe that jogging and running is very stressful for the bones, so it's something I try to avoid.

Oh, and I LOVE being short! :carrot:

Nikel1979
04-03-2013, 09:06 PM
I'm 5'10" and I still can't walk very fast. I max out around a 14 min mile (around 4.3 mph, I think). If I want to go faster than that it's way easier to jog.

RavenWolf
04-04-2013, 12:20 PM
I'm only 5'2" as well. I thought is ws just me that couldn't "walk" that fast. I actually just went to running (jogging) some so I could get my speed up!!

So glad I am not alone! LOL!

JoeJ
04-04-2013, 09:55 PM
I've found that stair training does it for me. I've increased my speed twice over by stair training at least 3 times a week. Essentially walking is your muscles contracting based on what your brain is telling your legs to do. Strengths the muscles there and you should see a better response time... More potassium and more calcium in your diet as well. :)

Marniadec
04-05-2013, 09:51 AM
Υοu shouldn't worry. When I first started it would take me 40 mins to walk a mile. :p Now it takes me 15. You'll get better as you try.

I've found that stair training does it for me. I've increased my speed twice over by stair training at least 3 times a week.
Stairs are **** on your knees. My aunt broke her knee and her doctor told her that her knees were in a pretty bad shape. She told him that she kept going up and down the stairs all the time, so she thought that she would have strengthened them, but he said that she was doing the exact opposite. And I'm knock-kneed and the first thing my doctor told me was to avoid the stairs.

CQ680
04-06-2013, 01:02 AM
i am 5'1. i know it's harder to walk as fast as my taller friends. for an exaggerated example of this, picture a mother and her 6 year old walking. guess who has trouble keeping up......

CQ680
04-06-2013, 01:05 AM
i am 5'1. i know it's harder to walk as fast as my taller friends. for an exaggerated example of this, picture a mother and her 6 year old walking. guess who has trouble keeping up...... Also, a "good workout" is relative, depending on many things. just one question.....are you carrying books?

Rhiko
04-06-2013, 06:59 AM
Why do I walk so slow? I keep reading online that I need to walk 3.5-4.0 in order to get a good work out, but I literally cannot walk any faster than about 3.4. It makes me feel pathetic. Is it just that I don't have the muscle mass, or is it because I just have a short stride? (I'm only 5'2") Does anyone else have this problem?

As everyone has been saying, it's because you have shorter legs. It took me lots of practice and determination to be able to get to my fastest walking pace (I don't know how fast that is because I only walk fast when I'm alone). Remember that the average height is about 5'5 + for women and many, if not all, don't take into account the differences in height. Information on websites is only a guide :)
If you are sweating or you know your body is getting a work out then that is the correct speed for you.