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Walking (Nordic walking) program and its modifications:



1.1. Walking for health (maintenance program):
  • Recommended load: approx. 60-70% of maximum heart rate
  • Minimum walking time: 30-45 minutes
  • Weekly frequency: 3-4x a week

This program is suitable for middle-age and elderly, who due to chronic illnesses and reduced physical condition, do not desire to increase the exercise intensity.

The program is suitable for people in middle-age and elderly and also for people with sedentary occupation, as a fitness condition maintenance program. We recommend higher intensity (60-70% of maximum heart rate) to these people.

1.2. Walking for weight-loss and metabolic syndrome effecting
  • Recommended load: approx. 60-70% of maximum heart rate
  • Minimum walking time: 45-60 minutes
  • Weekly frequency: 4-5x a week

This program is suitable for overweight or obese (1st level) people with complications (abnormal metabolism of fats, sugars, hypertension 1st level, etc.). It has to be supported with diet program! Approximate weight loss (especially liquids) can be 0.75 - 1 kg during the 60 minutes of walking.

Using appropriate footwear and pants that eliminates scratches and evaporating on the inner sides of thighs. We have to follow the sense of respiratory sufficiency during the workout.

Recommended training:
1.-3. week: 3-4x weekly, 30-45 min., 60% HRmax (1-2x stale)
4.- 6. week: 4x weekly, 45 – 60 min., 60% HRmax (1-2x stale)
7.- 9. week: 4-5x weekly, 60 min., 60% HRmax (1x stale)
10-12. week: 5x weekly, 60-90 min., 60% HRmax (1x stale)

Walking can be replaced by swimming or cycling 1-2x a week.

1.3. Fitness walking – jogging for faster physical condition increase (fitness walking, jogging):

  • Recommended load: approx. 70-80% of maximum heart rate
  • Minimum walking time: 30-45 minutes
  • Weekly frequency: 3-5x a week
This program is suitable for:
  • healthy people under 30 years old or healthy sporting people in age under 40 years;
  • for healthy, regularly sporting people with above-average level of physical fitness condition in age under 60 years.

Recommended training:
1.-3. week: 3-4x weekly, 20-30 min., 70% HRmax
4.- 6. week: 4x weekly, 30 - 45 min., 70% HRmax
7.- 9. week: 4-5x weekly, 45 min., 70% HRmax
10-12. week: 5x weekly, 45 min., 70-80% HRmax

Physical condition maintenance program:
3-4x weekly, 30-45min., 70-80% HRmax

Users with physical condition above-average such as athletes, who do not achieve sufficient intensity while walking on a flat surface, are recommended walking up-hill in combination with running on the flat surface and down-hill. Jogging can be replaced by cycling in rugged terrain (mountain bike) 1-2 a week.

1.4. Cardio walking – cardiovascular diseases:

This program is suitable for patients with compensated chronic diseases of the cardiovascular system, to whom specialist recommend endurance exercise. For example states after heart surgery, ischemic heart disease, hypertension 1st- 2nd level, peripheral vascular disease, states after cerebrovascular accidents.

Recommended heart rate value for cardiac patients is determined on the basis of professional examination. Cardio-specialist’s recommendations have to be respected. Follow your subjective feelings during exercising.

Recommended training:
1.- 3. week: 3-4x weekly, 30 min., intensity check
(sport tester, subjective control of breath sufficiency)
4.- 6. week: 4x weekly, 30 - 45 min., intensity check
(sport tester, subjective control of breath sufficiency)
7. - 9. week: 4-5x weekly, 45 min., intensity check
( (sport tester, subjective control of breath sufficiency)
10.-12. week: 4 - 5x weekly, 45 min., intensity check
(sport tester, subjective control of breath sufficiency)
13.-16. week: 5x weekly, 45-60 min., intensity check
(sport tester, subjective control of breath sufficiency).

Spiro-ergometric examination is recommended after 6 months of exercising.

Maintenance program:
3-4x weekly, 30-45min.
(subjective control of breath sufficiency).

To increase safety during exercise, check subjective feeling of respiratory sufficiency and compare it with the values of heart rate during exercise. Avoid feelings that indicate cardiac ischemia and a significant increase of blood pressure.

1.5. Walking with blood circulation in lower limbs disorders
It is mostly about blood circulation disorder as a result of varicose veins or narrowing or partial blockage of blood vessels in lower limbs. Recommended exercise load: approx.. 50-60% HRmax, weekly frequency 3-5x Choose discontinuous walking. Stop, sit down and lift your leg to a horizontal position if you feel that your legs are tired. You can continue after remission of difficulties. A good complement is called a “stork walk” - we lift feet above the knee when walking, which encourage blood circulation to your legs. If you have a possibility and our health condition allows you, do the “stork walking” in knee-deep cold water until your skin turns red. With varicose ulcers and other skin diseases can’t be applied, because there is a risk of skin infection. Blood circulation disorders or swelling of lower limbs is associated with long-term use of hormonal contraceptives of young girls.

1.6. Arthro and neuro walking - disorders and diseases of the musculoskeletal system
Reccomended only after medical check! Pay attention to coordination of walking and the body posture and equal loading of lower extremities. Do shorter steps. We recommend the use of Nordic walking poles to increase safety. Practice correct walking stereotype and not the intensity on the beginning. We recommend to use trekking poles to not to put whole weight on lower limbs to patients with malfunction of central joints (arthritis of knee and hip) or in state after knee or hip replacement and were recommended to use the operated joint in full. Later on use shorter poles for Nordic walking or switch to walking without support eventually. For people with chronic low back pain we recommend Nordic walking.

Recommended program:
Exercise intensity: approx. 50% HRmax
Weekly frequency: 4-5x a week Exercising time: 30-60 minutes gradually, on the beginning we interrupt walk when tired. Do easy compensative exercise and breathing exercise.

Weekly walking program can be replaced or supplemented according to feelings of tiredness or muscle soreness, 1-2x a week swimming or gymnastics in the water. We perform suitable health exercises every day.

1.7. Respiro walking ( weakness of respiratory system)
Always follow the feelings of breath sufficiency when walking. If you feel breath shortness, stop and take a break. Perform interval breathing exercises, relaxation and compensative exercises in breaks during walking. Exercises with elements of yoga and Tai Chi are very suitable. Select clean environment for the movement. Allergy sufferers reduce the exercise at the time of the seasonal allergens impact. On the contrary, at the time when allergen season is over, you can significantly increase exercise load. Supplement walking in nature with features of a cold bath (e.g. upper and lower limb baths in cold water) and cold air.
It is very useful to combine walking with swimming during the week. Examples of top athletes with allergic type of asthma are known.

Walking program for healthy individuals by number of kilometers per week (optimal if combined with Nordic walking).
  • Calculate fitness index according to the 2 km walking test and classify yourself into a fitness category group according to chart “fitness index evaluation” ”
    – group I – V (see above)
  • Choose lower limit number of kilometers per week according to fitness index level and divide it into 4-5 trainings to undergo during the week at the beginning of the program.
  • The total number of kilometers walked per week includes daily walks (such as brisk walk to and from work, walking at work, shopping, etc.).
  • The first three weeks during adaptation to physical exercise, walk 30 minutes as fast, that your heart rate or estimated exercise intensity is in range between 60-70%, according to your breath sufficiency and tiredness (see above). Walk in easy rhythm the rest of the track.
  • Since the beginning of the 4th week extend the walking time in the range 60-70% of maximum heart rate for 45 minutes and raise the number of kilometers per week by 3-4 km.
  • Since the beginning of the 8th week raise the number of kilometers per week again by 3-4 km to the upper limit for your age and physical fitness index. Walk 45 minutes in the range of 60-70% of your maximum heart rate. Walk in easy rhythm the rest of the track.
  • In the 12th week perform the 2 km walking test. If you walk regularly, you will get much better index of physical fitness condition.
  • Condition maintenance program: walk 3-4x per week, 45-60 min., 30min. of that brisk walking intensity 60-70% of your maximum heart rate.
  • If you regularly tour on weekends when you usually walk more kilometers, you can reduce the number of kilometers walked during the week. Remember, that walking only on weekends (2x per week) is not enough to improve your physical fitness condition.
Number of kilometers per week in various stages of fitness index according to 2 km walking test
High below-
average
I Z < 70
Below average

I Z: 70 -90
Average

I Z > 91 - 110
Above-average

I Z: 111- 130
High above-
average
I Z > 130
Věk Km/
week
Km/
week
Km/
week
Km/
week
Km/
week
20-29 13 – 21 km 21 – 29 km 29 – 40 km 40 – 53 km 53 - 74 km
30-39 13 – 21 km 21 – 29 km 23 – 40 km 40 – 51 km 51 - 64 km
40-49 13 – 21 km 19 – 27 km 23 – 37 km 40 – 51 km 51 - 64 km
50-59 11 – 19 km 11 – 19 km 23 – 37 km 37 – 47 km 47 - 56 km
60-68 5 - 10 km 10 – 16 km 16 – 26 km 26 – 34 km 34 - 40 km
69-74 3,5 - 8 km 8 - 13 km 11 – 18 km 18 – 27 km 27 - 34 km
75-84 3,5 - 8 km 6,5 – 11 km 10 – 15 km 15 – 19 km 19 - 29 km

Currently it is easy and affordable to measure number of kilometers walked by devices that measure approximate distance and energy output. If you walk with poles (Nordic walking), count the number of kilometers walked with poles in the weekly program.

Nordic Walking
Exercise intensity depends mainly on health state and physical condition. Healthy and trained individuals choose exercise load around 70-80% of maximum heart rate. Walking with poles in hilly terrain is better choice for these people. Using poles increase walk safety when walking down a steep hill in rugged terrain. Athletes with above-average physical condition can run with poles slowly on a flat surface.

Nordic Walking recommended program for healthy individuals (fitness program):
1. week: 30-45 min., (approx. 70% HRmax), 3x a week - plain.
2.-3. week: 30-45 min. (approx. 70% HR max). 3-4x a week- wavy terrain
We emphasize proper technique and participation of the shoulder girdle muscles and back muscles.
4. – 6. week: 45 min (70-80% HR max). 4x a week - wavy and hilly terrain.
7. – 10. week: 45 to 60 min., (approx. 70-80% HR max). 4x a week - wavy and hilly terrain.
11. – 12. week: 60 min. (approx.. 70-80% HR max). 4-5x a week - hilly terrain.

Maintenance program:
30-45 min. (approx.70-80% HR max). 3-4x a week - hilly terrain.
Healthy individuals with average and below-average physical condition choose exercise load intensity around 60-70% of maximum heart rate. Choose undulating terrain, prefer walking on unpaved communications.

Recommended program of NW for healthy weakened, chronic ill people and seniors
1.-2. week: 20-30 min. (50-60% HR max). 3x a week - plain
3.-4. week: 25-40 min. (50-60% HR max). 3-4x a week - plain
5.-8. week: 30-45 min. (50- 60% HR max). 4x a week - plain
13.-16 week: 45-60 min (60% HR max). 4-5x a week - wavy terrain

Maintenance program: 30 min (60% HR max). 3-4x a week – wavy terrain. For physically weakened, chronically ill people and the elderly, choose initial intensity of exercise 50-60% of maximum heart rate. Prefer walking on a flat surface and paved communications to reduce the risk of injury. When lower limb and lumbar spine muscles malfunctioning, rather choose trekking style or walk with poles (poles are used as a support and for load to joints and spine reducing). During exercise follow the feelings of respiratory sufficiency.

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This project Health Tracks in the Plzeň Region is co-financed by the European Union.