Walking Regime Tips?

We’re about to hit the 180 day mark and I could use a tip or two on how to structure my mom’s walking regime as the weather is starting to turn warmer. What milage/time should I have her be shooting for?

I believe the average walk for a person is roughly 10-12 miles a day at the parks, should I have her be attempting to do 6-8 miles a day by the time we leave? She’s got time and a treadmill, so these numbers aren’t impossible. I’m guessing duration of activity, not distance, should be my primary focus?

I’m currently looking at a few sites that focus on this but all of it is aimed at weightloss, and that’s not really what we’re going for here. Right now, she doesn’t walk at all and she’s sorta unsteady on her feet, but most of all she’s extremely slow.

Any help would be great.

I am heading towards my late 50s. I would try to walk 5 to 6 miles a day on a regular basis before my trips.

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Same here. And yes, you are correct it’s not really the distance it’s the duration. She can always sit down and rest if she gets tired. My husband and I are not physically fit by any means and he has had several health issues in the last few years, but we always do fine at WDW. We remind ourselves that it’s not a race and to slow down and enjoy.


It’s kind of a difficult question to answer, in that at WDW you are not really walking a set distance over time - instead you are walking (hopefully quickly) to the next attraction, standing and shuffling in line, sitting for a little bit, and then repeating the whole process. All in ungodly heat.

To “train” for this I would suggest a combination of treadmill work (for endurance) and core strength work (yoga/pilates). Add on to this a general increase in daily activity level to get the body used to being up and about for an entire day.


I’ll play the devils advocate. Get her a ECV this way she can keep up and not slow you down. I speak as a person with mobility issues, it is very disheartening to be slowing your group down. To be slow and having to stop and rest while everyone else want to keep going is very disappointing. I use a ECV when we go to parks and now everyone has to keep up me lol. They can be rented for as little as $25 a day and last 12-14 hours on a single charge.


I agree with the get her used to being active all day long. I typically get 22000-35000 (10-16 miles for me) steps on my fitbit in a day at the parks (last trip had one day with 42,000, about 19 miles) and so if she shoots for 15000 steps every day leading up to the trip, I think she will be somewhat prepared. Treadmill, walking around room while watching TV shows, parking farther from stores, carrying one grocery bag in at a time, walking around the neighborhood, taking the stairs —all those things will add steps and activity all day without setting out to walk 6 miles per day on a treadmill. Of course, that is also helpful. Just trying to suggest ideas to increase activity overall. It is definitely a marathon.

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I also try to walk 5-6 miles a day for at least the 3 months before my trip. I think her speed should be the speed you plan to walk at the park, so nothing too fast. Building stamina and finding shoes that you can comfortably walk that distance are the keys for me.

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Thanks! So 5-6 miles a day by the time we leave should be fairly ok, the more the better obviously. But if nothing else, it won’t lead to a complete shock to her system when hitting the miles of Disney. She’s gone before without any walking prep (though not sure how she’s pulled that off), so I’m not terribly worried, but I like to be prepared m’self.

The ECV is an idea, but I think it’ll only play as a last-resort unless she hurts herself. She wouldn’t like it no matter how slow she is. I just want to make sure she’s not hurting throughout the week and staying in the hotel room recovering, so a level of walking will likely take care of any of the issues.

I would recommend a “couch to 10k” type program and deliberately skip the part about running - just walk the time/distance it plans. That should get you up to the 6+ miles section in plenty of time.

That’s presuming that she plans to be a walker.

As a runner, I happen to be partial to Jeff Galloway’s methods which already incorporate walking at all distances - but choose one that fits your life.

Realistically, the walking regime is a fitness program. And while it’s not aiming for running 26.2, it should be approached from an “overall fitness” perspective, hence my recommendation. And JG will talk about cross training when appropriate, too.

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“Gallowalking” is the path to the Dark Side - all you crazy people suddenly dropping from a run to a walk in the middle of a pack, causing chaos to all those behind you. Run, or do not run - there is no walk!

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Middle of the pack? Sounds like people who only half listen to Jeff. People who are true devotees will stay to the side, and be sure to raise their arm to alert people of a pending change. Jeff is big on this piece of running etiquette, and reminds people of it every chance he gets.

Trust me, I hate the sudden-walk-in-the-middle types as much as you do!

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haha She doesn’t really plan to be a “walker”… heh my mom and “exercise” don’t really get along… at all. I don’t want to call it a “loathing” but a “vengeful and violent hatred” is not far from reality. :slight_smile:

But the 10K program isn’t a bad idea. Good intervals and I was thinking something along those lines.

I hate that I’m asking this, but things are turning to where I should be ready to make certain preparations. The ECV is now starting to look likely, but I saw it’s like $50 a day… which ends up being really expensive and I saw it’s not guaranteed.

To counter, I was looking at roller/walker/chairs and saw this. I believe it will be, but are these roller chairs allowed in the parks?


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Have you considered renting an ECV from an outside agency? A quick google search for “Orlando ECV Rental” showed a number of agencies, ranging in the $25-$30/day range, generally. Might be worth considering; many will deliver to your resort.

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To be honest, I’m just starting to look at this. I wasn’t aware or even considered an outside agency even existed.

Still, that kinda cash over the course of 9 days is a bit expensive. Where as 60 bucks total is a bit easier to live with. I’ll take a look at that though, thank you.

Totally understandable.

One of the agencies I saw gave “Day 7 Free” and $10/day beyond that. Which would total $170 for 9 days. And that was with just a cursory search. Still significantly more than $60, but possibly worth it in the longer run, in the interests of keeping your DM happy throughout the trip.

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Ok, I’ll take the plunge here b/c I just had this problem with my grandma this trip. Although she does yoga and was trying to “train” herself before the trip, well into her 80s it was likely that she was going to be challenged by the excessive walking involved at WDW. She’s also a proud independent person, and I was worried about her general acceptance of a scooter. About a month before the trip, I happened to sprain my ankle, and approached it from the standpoint that I didn’t want to slow people down or have my feet swell, but thought I could manage some walking, and would like to share a scooter. As in park in a land/area, go to attractions, move on. Turns out, Grandma LOVED the scooter. She had evidently been sooo worried about trying to keep up that she over-trained and sprained her ankle too. We all ended up trying out the scooter a little, but it was mostly for Grandma, and she did VERY well with it. We had to tell her to slow down sometimes, which I think she secretly enjoyed. I was a little worried at crowded events, but I found that leading the scooter and clearing a path did quite well.

We rented from K+M Scooters, who were the only ones who would deliver to our Champions Gate rental home. They dropped it off and gave us a tutorial, and picked it up (without us having to be there, just on back patio). We could disassemble and place in the back of our rental van. She could ride it out of the park. We rented 3d $75, worth EVERY PENNY. Cheaper rates/day if you rent for more days, though.

Grandma did NOT get swollen feet, which she did get on prior European vacations with less overall steps a day when she was younger. I think she would have been reluctant (and feeling more invalid) if she had been asked to use the amazon product you showed. And she would have still had swollen feet. There are a LOT of scooters at WDW for a variety of reasons, so she didn’t feel out of place.


Thank you. I’ll definitely keep this in mind.

I think her biggest issue is just getting winded. She’s good for short bursts so I figured something I could fold up and carry and/or push her around in would be good. But the ECV seems to be looking more and more ideal, especially if they deliver as we won’t have a car or anything.

As a medical professional I just want to chime in about the wheeled walkers: yes, they are great, yes the seat and storage compartment are convenient, but they ARE NOT to be used as a wheelchair. ONLY sit on them when they are stationary with the brakes on. The wheels can easily snap off or bend if you sit on them and wheel around and that could turn into a dangerous fall for an elderly person. Great walkers, but only when used correctly. Good luck on your trip and hope you have an amazing time! :smile:

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Well… crap. Thanks for that info. They coulda turned out way worse than I had intended.

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