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Updated on July 11, 2013

5 Miles a Day

I was 56 years old, running a Guest House getting up at 6am each morning; and anyone will tell you when running your own business it's not just an 8 hours a day. A little over weight, feeling tired, painful knees, a little shaky with ladders and wondering what the future holds for this decaying body. So just the usual stuff.

Just before Christmas 2008, my brother, Denis, called round with a Christmas card as he always did. He's a year older than me but looks three years younger; it's is job I suppose. He's a 7th Dan black belt Karate Instructor and International Competition Judge, (funny now I think of it we've never quarrel).

Anyway were sat having a coffee in the kitchen and I opened my big mouth.
"I need to get fit"
"Do you mean it"
"Yes" With pride, to think he thought I didn't mean it.
"Ok then I'll call round for you say 10th of January (a Monday), and will get down to the gym"
"Gym, I could do with loosing a few pounds before I go to a gym"
"Ok get yourself on a diet and will do a little walking for a few weeks first"
"Fair enough"
“You need to get the blood flowing to the parts of your body your not using, that's why your knees are sore walking will sort you out” he said.

Walking: my wife and I like to going walking on the moors that's not a problem for me.

Off we went

So I went out and bought trainers and track suit ready for the big day; the closer it got the less interested I was, my knees were getting worse; if I sat down for a coffee break in the day I had a job getting back up, it was like cranking an old car, once I got going I wasn't to bad and I couldn't let him down.
Which was one of the cyclelogical aspects that kept us both going in the end.

The day came and off we went; no, not just walking in the street he'd been doing this for years the rout was planed, it was in the car and out to the country.We parked in a garden centre car park, very pleasant I thought.

“OK, from the 'garden centre' to 'Little Budworth' it's 5 miles and 5 miles back, we'll start off at an easy pace to get warmed up”

I didn't even think about it, the problem was he had 40 years start on me. It was January but I soon warmed up: the first five mile wasn't to bad we talked about all kinds of stuff we did as young kids growing up in the late 50's and 60's, things started to get quieter on the way back, I started suffering from chafing (grow up nappy rash) and I had a pain in my foot which gradually got worse. January or not at the end I needed water, my foot was in a bad way and I will definitely be wearing Vaseline tomorrow and it won't be on my head.

When I got back home I was good for nothing, my legs were numb; I spent an hour in the shower and then just sat in a chair pretending to do some paper work; there's always a DIY list in the guest house; so I couldn't let my wife know how I felt she'd say it's not going to work if I couldn't keep on top of the maintenance, and she would have been right but I was determin to try an get fit.

Over the next few weeks we went out 5 days a week; I knew in my own mind 10 miles a day was to much to start of with, but I didn't want to let the side down. My foot got worse and in the end we found out I had developed plantar fascitis (inflammation of the heal tisshue where the tendons attach to the bone) I ended up having to have a special implant made to put in my shoe and was advise to change my trainers. The week before it was fitted I had to stop walking because my foot swelled up; once I received the implant I walked round with it in my shoe for a couple of days; change my trainers for a pair with a built up instep and decide to start walking again.


I'd lost 7lb. The first day was good and things got better. Until Big Brother decided it was raining to hard one day, it was the middle of March we'd been at it for three months,

“We'll go in the Gym”

Another set of mussels, it was like day one all over again, he set a rutine to work the whole body, after the first day I remeber laughing so much when Denis ask me was I ok the whole of my body was sore but I couldn't stop laughing. We had a day walking then a day in the gym alternate for the next three months.
Nine months down the line I was a new man we went to a family wedding I had to have a new smaller suite, I felt well, strong, fit, fresh and no pain in my legs for weeks; I use to hate going shopping with my wife because I was always tired and my legs would cause me jip. The gym had built up the mussels in my legs which in turn made it much easyer to walk, some day's I'd go out on my own and get round the course by jogging and walking.


  • Diagnosis for plantar fascitis
    Often found in older, over weight people who who take on vigorous exercise.
  • Make sure you have the right trainers with a good built up insteps.
  • Start off by doing only 5 miles a day, 3 if your not able, just walking, not strolling and build up your walking speed as you get stronger.
  • Go to a Gym after 3 months, It's a good idea to have a few lessons from one of the attendants; explain what your doing and they'll put a work out together for you, once you know what your doing you can stop the lessons.
  • Last but by no means least, that's by no means least 'Don't forget the Vaseline'.

The way I went about this was wrong but only buy going though what I did; I am able to tell you that no matter how you go about it, walking 5 miles a day will have the blood rushing into parts of your body that need it; mix this with toning everything up at the gym, all at your own pace, no matter how old you are, you will feel 100% better.

Love to hear your comments

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      Karla Whitmore 

      8 years ago from Tucson, AZ



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