Am I off to a good start with the walking?

I'm totally out of shape. As in, I get winded just climbing the stairs. Every time I try to run I feel like my chest is on fire. My asthma doesn't help, but obviously this would all be a lot easier if my body were stronger and lighter. I've been mostly sedentary for years and I really want to change that.

So I've started walking 3-4 miles 3-4 times a week. I just started week two and I feel pretty good. I can definitely do this. It takes me about 20 minutes to finish a mile around the track, so I'm going at a steady 3 mph. Is this enough, though? I mean, am I starting too easy? I feel like I'm doing a lot less than some people, but then, I'm just getting started.


  • Buddhasmiracle
    Buddhasmiracle Posts: 925 Member
    You are off to a great start!! You can challenge yourself with either a quicker pace and/or more laps as it becomes easier.
    If you can, purchase a heart rate monitor to give you a more accurate estimate of the calories burned on your walks.

    I had a minor mishap while cycling and injured my knee so walking this week has been my "go to" exercise.

    Good for you!!
  • BlueBombers
    BlueBombers Posts: 4,065 Member
    Yes, that is how I started! You can build up on your workouts gradually.
  • zeal26
    zeal26 Posts: 602 Member
    We all have to start somewhere. A year ago walks were a struggle for me, now I'm slowly starting running. You are definitely off to a great start! Keep up the good work!
  • TravelDog14
    TravelDog14 Posts: 317 Member
    90% of my exercise is from walking.
    I've lost 70 some pounds and kept it off.
  • CaliforniaAJ
    CaliforniaAJ Posts: 196 Member
    Well done for getting started! Pat yourself on the back for your motivation and dedication!

    You say you are at a track. Are there any steps there? Like for stadium seating?

    I have a friend who added in running up the steps (start at once per day for the first week, then twice per day 2nd week, until you are at maximum) and it really upped the calorie burn. You can run up and then catch your breath on the slow walk down.

    How about walking with some weights and doing arm exercises while you walk?

    Just some thoughts for things you can add in as you build up to them.

    You will be surprised at how quickly you get fit and can do more each week. I started off where you are on a treadmill and now I am doing 3.7 mph - 4.5 mph for 40 mins at a 6 to 12 incline. Burn those calories!!!!
    ROBINCAN2 Posts: 33 Member
    I have only been on MFP for 5 weeks and I started off walking even slower, maybe 2.0 - 2.5 and now I am at 3.0 - 3.5 and longer walks. I remember in the short time that I was winded and worn out and sitting on ice / heat on my back for the first week or so. Now it seems I am doing better, having more energy and after I am finished I actually still have enough energy to get dinner cooked. I have just now started some youtube videos to change things up. You are doing fine in my newby opinion and the speed and length of time will come with time. I am figuring when i get at least 20 pounds off, I be speedy Gonzalez.....LOL Keep it up! Great Job!
  • msw278
    msw278 Posts: 5
    Have you thought about walking off the track, i live in the UK and am lucky enough to live within 30 mins of the peak district, i purchased a camera and off i went, i was walking for miles without even noticing lol i was far too busy snapping my pics, there are all kinds of apps that will tell you about distance covered etc or even a pocket pedometer, :-) Keep up the good work.
  • HollisGrant
    HollisGrant Posts: 2,022 Member
    Please get a physical and ask your doctor to check you out about getting winded when you climb the stairs.

    Thumbs up for walking. Do what you can. It all adds up. I love walking outside and walk everywhere I can. I walked 5 miles today to pick up something for my cat at the vet when I could have driven the car. It's getting nice out now, in the 50s.
  • EDollah
    EDollah Posts: 464 Member
    That's an awesome start! Don't worry about "is it too easy" until it feels like it's too easy. A year ago a 1/2 mile walk would cause me to sit down and rest for a minute to catch my breath and lower my heart rate. Today I ran 10k. Walking was how I started.
  • AlwaysInMotion
    AlwaysInMotion Posts: 409 Member
    I started with walking, too. Fast forward several years later, I'm almost 100 lbs down and I now bike over 6000 miles a year and have started jogging in earnest. So, everything that gets you moving is moving you in the right direction!

    If/when you start feeling like the walking is getting easy for you, consider adding a few speed-walking intervals to your workout. For example, at the start of every new lap, speed walk all or a portion of the straightaway. I also like the idea of maybe adding some stairs if you have some nearby. Once this gets easy for you, also consider a couch-to-5K program if jogging sounds like an interesting challenge...

    Or you can be like me! I bought a bike on a lark (because my boyfriend dragged me to the bike store to buy himself one) and I just fell in love with it.

    I still love walking, though...
  • What an incredibly smart way to start!!! You go:)
  • You are doing great! Getting your body going is key. You can always add to your workouts. I started out with walking (slowly) for just a few minutes because I got so winded. That was just under 6 months ago. I now go to the gym at least 5 days a week for at least an hour and a half. Your body will adjust as the weight drops. Keep moving in the right direction and keep being consistent. You've got this! :)
  • tjsoccermom
    tjsoccermom Posts: 500 Member
    That's an awesome start. Never compare yourself to others. You do what you can and build upon that. If you're wanting to get to a point where you're running, try the couch to 5 k app. It's great! Keep it up!
  • scubasuenc
    scubasuenc Posts: 626 Member
    Walking is a great start. Another thing you can do to up the intensity is something like the Leslie Sansone Walk At Home DVDs. They are not complicated, but include a little more motion than a simple walk. There are also exercises that are done with light weights or stretchy band. More of a total body workout and something you can do when the weather isn't nice.

    My main exercise is a stationary bike, but I add walks in as additional exercise several days per week. You can burn a lot of calories walking.
  • BebeFash
    BebeFash Posts: 5 Member
    me too, i started 10 days ago, i walk every day may 6 km or 8 km, im not tired of walking if i have more time i will do, but i still have a breathing problem i don't know why!
  • nkovacs1954
    nkovacs1954 Posts: 64 Member
    You are doing exactly what you should be doing. Forget the running, keep'll do great..
  • bluefox9er
    bluefox9er Posts: 2,917 Member
    walking is fantastic,fantastic,fantastic exercise and so under rated. although I train for long distance running, I started off as a walker and LOVE nothing more than walking…it's great that you too have decided to walk :-)
  • jennifries227
    jennifries227 Posts: 113 Member
    My doctor actually told me to start exercising by walking slowly, 20-30 minutes a day. I also have asthma, so I understand completely when you say it's hard to get started exercising, and that you get winded just going up the stairs.
    I would recommend a doctor visit to make sure your asthma is under decent control. You don't want to accidentally give yourself an asthma attack from doing too much with uncontrolled asthma!
    Eventually you WILL build up your stamina. You'll be able to go further and faster without having any trouble with your breathing or muscles complaining too much.

    Push yourself, but lightly! Go an extra half a mile or speed up your pace a little bit and see how you feel.

    I'm also going to recommend Leslie Sansone's workouts. You can find them free on YouTube, Start with a 20 minute/ 1 mile workout because they're probably a lot faster paced than you're used to.
  • KayBallin
    KayBallin Posts: 111 Member
    Walking is great! Keep going! Once your body is more conditioned, you'll be able to do more if you wish. Your endurance will improve with time. :)
  • Calliope610
    Calliope610 Posts: 3,771 Member
    Damn! Starting with 3-4miles? That's awesome! I started with about 3/4 mile and worked up little by little. A year in and I do 2.5-4 miles nightly and a 6 mile hike on Saturday.

    I definitely have to say that walking has been the key (along w/ calorie deficit) to my 40lb weight loss. And my killer calves, toned thighs and (almost) hot butt.

    Check out the Move Your *kitten* Challenge Group. I participate and it DEFINITELY helps get me out the door when I really don't "feel" like walking.