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How to Turn Your Walk into a Run

A Walker's Guide to Running


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  • I can do short intervals of running when I take my walk but I am careful since I'm one month away from 70.
  • Due to a bad ankle and leg, I don't run but try to get as much walking in as I can. I keep working, as it will tolerate, with stretching and bending.
  • I walk about 2 hours daily to raise my blood pressure,without it it is 80/50, my Dr. advises it. I also have a blood clot near my heart & can not do hard exercise. I have lost 40 pounds. Running can be hard on your joints & heart,you can always try walking faster if you are capable. I am not as it would lower my blood pressure.
  • Great article............Thank You.
    As a long time runner who has run on both roads, (marathons) and trails, (ultra marathons) I would suggest that if you intend to run trails more than road, it is best to invest in a pair of TRAIL shoes. They have a sturdier toe box which will protect your toes from tree roots, and rocks.
    Further...if you run both road, and trail it is a good idea to do foot exercises to strengthen your feet since trail materials shift underfoot, and your foot muscles will work to stabilize your feet.
  • I'm disappointed that SparkPeople is pushing running once again--the BEST exercise you'll ever find is WALKING! A high-speed interval-training WALK has been shown to provide a myriad of physical benefits, and increase longevity overall. According to my orthopedic surgeon, running will only lead to a lifetime of joint problems, back problems, and other degeneration issues from constant pounding. Don't fall into that trap of thinking you have to be a runner to "exercise" don't! I've been a WALKER for 15 years & stayed thin & healthy & fabulous--and my joints thank me for it!
    I walked my way to running suffered and injury now I'm starting all over and its soo hard. Be careful....
  • I totally respect the people who are pursuing running. However, my "older" flat feet have affected my arches, ankles, and knees and this is not a good option for me.
    Hi ETHELMERZ, You know the internet is not FREE. The reason you are here is to find out the real deal. You obviously know the difference between real and fake weight loss claims. Spark People has to find some way to pay the bills. of course we wish they would do it in another fashion, but lets face it, who is advertising fresh fruits and vegetables except the local farmer's market.
    Why are there so many small ads on this page featuring falsified information, coconut oil fallacies, supplements, "14 easy tips to weight loss", which are bunk, and several others that the articles in Spark People have debunked as nonsense?? The kinds of dumb ads you see in magazines, trying to get some poor fool to spend money for no results.
  • Great article. I've been running for about 39 years and I just love it. The article was so spot-on in its advice on getting the proper shoes. The correct shoe and the correct shoe fit are absolutely crucial. One thing I would add is that people buy their shoes at specialized running stores. Those stores have the qualified and trained staff who will help you get the right shoe. Yes, you may pay more but it is worth it.

    The only other thing I would strongly suggest is that you NOT WEAR AN IPOD/listen to music if you are running on the streets! While it might be nice to listen to music, it is much more important to be completely and fully aware of your surroundings. Besides, you will not believe how incredibly wonderful it is to listen to your surroundings.

    Great, great article! Thanks Coach Jen.
  • Never to late to start running. I started last May at the age of 49. I run 13 minute miles not that fast but I am lapping everyone else sitting on the couch
  • For a period of 6 months I did a bit of steps to start running but not realy serious you know. But when I saw that next week we have the marathon here in our city (there is also a small one for beginners), the thought crossed my mind to enroll for next week.!! But I realize I am too enthousiastic. So I think next year will be better, then I'll train myself having one whole year. Also I will have a better weight, my ideal weight hopefully. So I do it step by step, Walking is more my Thing, I love it. Walking makes me feel good, healthy, I am 47 so I got to think reasonable with myself. Thanks anyway for the beautiful article!!! It gives us the hope we will get there, someday.
  • You make it sound fun! Except for the part about concrete being so damaging to the joints. It was sort of incomplete there, because you didn't mention that sidewalks are make of concretes. Instead, you went on to say that asphalt is better, but didn't say where that can be found. Okay, I know, it's what the streets are made of, but most people don't want to be in the street because that makes them vulnerable to being hit by a moving vehicle.

    THERESA63D, if you are having serious knee pain when running, you might want to try water aerobics, because being in the water cuts down on the gravity that your body has to bear. It will be better for you! If cost is an issue, a lot of places offer scholarships or grants to low-income people and it may even be possible to have a doctor's prescription to join a gym and then your insurance would pay. Also, walking is gentler, of course, than running.
  • Hated having to run. In high school I was the fastest ever but had to run a mile to stay on the team. then a few years ago I dieted and did the c25k program and enjoyed running for the first time. Got sick and lazy, gained weight and now I miss the running. Have to get back there.

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