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Old 01-19-2012, 09:40 PM   #1
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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?
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Old 01-19-2012, 09:46 PM   #2
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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.
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Old 01-19-2012, 09:46 PM   #3
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<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.
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Old 01-19-2012, 10:10 PM   #4
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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.

Quote:
Originally Posted by HokieLoki View Post
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!
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Old 01-19-2012, 10:20 PM   #5
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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.
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Old 01-19-2012, 10:29 PM   #6
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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.
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Old 01-20-2012, 12:42 AM   #7
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consider biking? its exercise still and it will get you there faster.
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Old 01-20-2012, 01:18 AM   #8
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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.
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Old 01-20-2012, 07:43 AM   #9
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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.

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Old 01-20-2012, 08:10 AM   #10
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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.
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Old 01-20-2012, 10:59 AM   #11
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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.
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Old 01-20-2012, 11:15 AM   #12
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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!
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Old 01-20-2012, 11:18 AM   #13
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Quote:
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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!)
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Old 01-20-2012, 11:23 AM   #14
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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
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Old 01-20-2012, 01:26 PM   #15
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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.
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