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Fitness Articles  ›  Focused Fitness

''The More I Walk, the Better I Feel!''

How WALKWITME Became a Walkaholic

-- By SparkPeople Editorial Staff
SparkPeople member WALKWITME started out at 210 pounds, walking two to three miles at a time. Now her weight is down to 153 pounds (less than 20 pounds away from her ultimate goal) and her mileage is up—sometimes to 10 miles per day! Find out how she did it.

WALKWITME Before
WALKWITME After

How did walking help you reach your goals?
I have lost 56.2 pounds, and walking is my primary exercise. I started out walking two to three miles and now I walk five to eight miles and up to 10 miles on any given day. I love walking! Last week I walked 59 miles. I just don't walk, I power walk so I can get done in a certain amount of time. Most of my friends I have met along the way think I'm a walkaholic! I have walked in the snow, rain and cold days so there’s no stopping me when I get on my sneakers. I generally walk every day, at 5 a.m. till I'm done.

How do you keep your walks fun and interesting?
I started out walking with my next door neighbor. We would walk a short distance one day and the other days we would walk longer. We’d race walk and change our walking routes throughout the neighborhood. On the days my neighbor didn’t walk with me, I’d go to a nearby high school track where I could keep track of my laps and miles. Some days I’d throw on my iPod to listen to music, and other days I’d enjoy talking to the people I have met along the way. I enjoy the scenery—the longer I walk, the better I feel!

Now I walk and jog up and down the high school bleachers for fun. I take longer walks (eight to nine miles) on the weekends with three friends, and we choose a different route each time.

What other exercises did you do besides walking?
For cardio, I also used the treadmill and Gazelle. SparkPeople’s strength and flexibility exercises were also part of my program then and they still are today.

What tips would you give someone just starting a walking program?
  • See your doctor first, before you start a walking program.
  • Warm up for five to 10 minutes and end with a 5-10 minute cool down.
  • Start slowly and gradually build up your time and distance. You can walk anywhere from 20-60 minutes, three to six days a week. It can be broken into several 10-minute increments—whatever your schedule permits.
  • Wear comfortable walking shoes and clothing.
  • Don’t forget your water!
Besides weight loss, what other improvements have you noticed?
It’s good exercise for my heart. Now I’m not winded when I climb stairs. My stress level is down and both my blood pressure and cholesterol readings have improved, too.

Is there anything else you’d like to share with other walkers?
Have fun. Walk with a friend. Don't make it a task.
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Member Comments

  • OMG, how do you have the time to walk 10 miles?!! That's amazing. I walk 3 miles currently. I used to hate walking, but I am now starting to enjoy it. Two weeks ago my best friend passed away suddenly. I felt like all I wanted to do was walk. Walk to escape. Walk to de-stress. Although there were some days over the last couple weeks that I was crying and walking at the same time. But for the most part, it gave me peace and gave me a chance to recall found memories of my friend. Which are plenty since we've been friends since we were little. The walking did me good. - 6/19/2014 6:29:59 PM
  • I love walking! I always wonder why I stop when I get going again. I go every morning after I drop the kids off at school and walk on the Rails to Trails. Everyone is so nice. I sometimes feel self conscious because I'm a 350lbs woman walking slower than many people but I manage about 5k in an hour, which is pretty good IMO! Better than going home and crawling back into bed.

    I go a little further every day, even just a few steps if I'm not feeling it, and it has brought me a long way. When I started, it took me nearly half an hour to walk one kilometer :) - 5/27/2014 12:26:30 PM
  • Congratulations. This inspires me to continue walking, even when it seems like nothing is happening. Thank you, and best wishes as you continue on your journey. - 5/14/2014 3:39:09 PM
  • Amazing! I love walking--so nonthreatening but so powerful. - 5/14/2014 2:14:22 AM
  • KDEILY
    What an inspiration you are. Getting your walk in so early in the day starts you off with a really good attitude and sense of accomplishment. I think you are doing a wonderful thing for your body and just keep it up. I have a lot of admiration for you! - 2/12/2014 7:24:01 AM
  • I love to walk great way to burn a few calories and have some fun - 8/6/2013 9:17:15 PM
  • DRUM-MAJOR
    The message - Keep Walking! Fantastic! So simple too!

    Thanks for sharing! - 6/17/2013 8:05:36 AM
  • I JUST STARTED WALKING THE TRACK LAST MONDAY AND HAVE NOT MISSED A DAY IT'S ONLY BEEN A WEEK BUT I'M SO EXCITED AND ENCOURAGED MY GOAL IS AT LEAST 2 MILES A DAY - 6/16/2013 5:59:55 PM
  • Very inspiring. I hope to learn your consistency. - 6/16/2013 2:24:12 PM
  • I love to walk. My neighbor said to me you the walked woman I ever seen. But I love it. My hubby walk with me sometimes. I love to walk and talk to the Lord. Just thanking him for another day.

    - 6/16/2013 8:08:16 AM
  • Great article. My husband and I often walk in the evenings. In addition to it being great exercise, it is also good for our marriage as we are able to communicate without other distractions. Something about walking makes me feel more connected to nature,our neighborhood and my family ;) - 6/16/2013 2:02:51 AM
  • I too am a walker, another thing is my gazelle edge I love this machine. I can't run, so I decided to walk. Have not been on SP, long but already feeling better. I have walked 3 hours so far, I start out early in the morning and continue on. I was a guest at the YMCA with my sister today, enjoyed the machines, tracked walking 2.5 miles in an hour, most important was that I sweated of so calories on the treadmill. I am going to purchase one for my home next. You are awesome!! - 5/15/2013 10:08:46 PM
  • I have always had some of my most profound moments walking. There is one moment on a hill top in Austria that is my favorite. I love that walking has helped you reach your goals. - 8/8/2012 11:53:38 PM
  • DISPATCHER121
    I just started walking today. I have a bad knee and need surgery, but after reading your story I will not give up. Thank you for the motivation. You look great. - 8/8/2012 11:10:19 PM
  • great i was up to 2 miles and quit i did not think it was doing any good i still had a fat belly guess i was wrong i am going to start back.thanks - 8/6/2012 3:51:09 PM
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