Just wanted to say that if a pill could make you feel the way the right exercise does- it would be widely sought after. Also wanted to say, the level of intensity kind of doesn't matter, to start with. I had been walking all year, though not counting it, and with NO great consistency. It was the VERY lack of consistency is why I set the 500 mile goal.
I believe that it was in giving myself permission to walk slowly, enjoy nature that is helping me further my goals. In the past I have plugged into a program without listening to my body when it told me things were too much, too soon, too high intensity or length of time. This time I tuned into my body, and chose positive thoughts that encouraged my just getting the miles in, no matter the intensity, or length of time it took to finish the miles.
At first my goal was two miles, though somedays I ended up a bit sad because of my poor planning for time I'd only have time for a mile. It was those 'fail' moments that pushed me to carve out the time- to make me a priority so that I would get those two miles in. Then I've pushed it to my minimum being three miles and at least once or more per week, 5 miles. After I got to 5 miles a few times, things started to feel freer and easier. I actually felt like jogging a bit (I waited until my body felt like it wanted to jog) and when I did it felt great & no injury!
So my sweet husband has joined me, as I was singing the de-stressing praises of walking & we used to walk/hike a lot. So, now he has joined me, and he started feeling really good. And yesterday he agreed to the mini intervals of run/walk/run via the Jeff Galloway book.
In Jeff's book he shares intervals that will get you a certain pace per mile. We started at the rock bottom of the list. The 18:30-20 minute mile, by running with an interval of 5 seconds run/30 seconds walk. I timed this with an iPhone app called 'Interval Timer'. I was able to set up a ten minute warm up/cool down with the 5/30 intervals in the middle. The app chimes a sound that you choose that cues you its time to walk/run/cool down. The schedule in Jeff's book says that for week 1- ten minute warm up, in that warm up he suggests walking 3 minutes, then jog 5-10 seconds and walk the remainder of the warm up. So we did, actually I think we walked a bit longer of a warm up as I was adjusting the intervals app. Then we did the intervals for 13 minutes, and cooled down for longer than the ten minutes because we wanted at least a 3 mile (5k) walk. Monday/Weds and Saturday are the days we are aiming at doing our workouts on. The other days we are still walking.
We agreed that we are doing this for ourselves and not to get to a race goal. To keep ourselves de-stressed and our joints moving & spending time together. He seems really motivated this go around. I think that there is a certain magic in the Jeff Galloway run-walk-run culture, there is an attitude shift when you are backed by an Olympian that wants you to take walk breaks. www.facebook.com
There is a neat podcast (if you listen to those) called 'The Extra Mile Podcast-Galloway edition'- fun to listen to in the car, and listening to them slowly helped me build up the courage to put my health on the top of my daily 'to do' list, not on the back burner anymore.