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Not Quite Power Walking

Since I discovered jogging wasn't for me I've been kind of all over the place with my daily exercise routine. In fact for a little while I stopped my daily walks altogether.

Not walking meant I could do an extra 50 minutes of work a day which was great for getting things done but not so great for my health. Since I haven't yet been able to get myself a bike to replace jogging it's back to walking, however, this time it's different.

When I was jogging my daily walking route I'd managed to cut my time down to 35 minutes, noting that I only actually jogged about two thirds of the way. The rest of the time I spent gasping down water and walking until I felt ready to jog again.

It occurred to me that if I simply walked consistently at a fairly quick pace the whole distance I could probably cut my time dramatically and increase the benefit of walking as a daily exercise routine. Yeah I know, totally obvious, right?

So I gave it a try.

Now we're not quite talking 'power walking' here. You won't see me walking like they do in the walking event at the Olympics, rubber band legs twanging away and butt cheeks screaming "Come On, break into a run already!!" No that isn't what I'm doing.

Simply put I'm being conscious about the need to walk quickly. In the way you might if you had to catch a train or a bus and you knew you had time to get there if you pick up the pace without actually breaking into a run.

The first time I tried my regular walking route at this faster pace I completed it in 36 minutes. What the?? I expected to do better than my previous walking times of 50 minutes but to do it in about the same time as when I was jogging? Clearly a much better result than I expected.

I've been doing this faster paced walk all week trying to better my time but so far 36 minutes seems to be about the peak. I'm determined to cut it down to 30 minutes though because it's early days yet and I've been walking in cold and some what windy weather. This time challenge is keeping me motivated.

Best of all is that, after about five sessions of jogging my route my joints were really starting to ache, so far my joints feel fine.

I guess the moral here really is walk before you run. Walking quickly and consistently over my entire route is getting my heart rate up and I'm cutting down my time spent exercising with greater benefit. Importantly though, my body can handle the pace.

If you're like me and not quite fit enough for jogging then maybe not quite power walking is for you.

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