Getting back in shape for Disney

Luxe Travel Girl

Earning My Ears
Joined
Apr 17, 2021
Hello all!

Well, I did it. I went and booked a trip to WDW this fall. It definitely isn't my first time at WDW, but my fabulously fluffy body has gotten a bit more fluffy than I would like. The goal is to enjoy the parks without subjecting other guests to the moan, "My knees! For the love of Walt, my knees!" at regular intervals.

My average mile count at WDW is usually about 10 miles a day. So increase the walking, of course. Does anyone else have a plan of attack to make sure they arrive at WDW with happy knees and ankles after this year of not moving as much as usual?
 

ElyseInWonderland

Mouseketeer
Joined
Jun 1, 2016
Love that you've set a goal of walking around Disney pain-free! My MIL was in the same boat, and what helped her was setting a daily or weekly "mileage goal", starting with 3 miles per week and working up to about 11. Some weeks you may hit your goal, some weeks you may not and that's okay! Just a few walking days a week will put you in a great position for your trip. I liked to tell my MIL to imagine she's walking between attractions, like "Okay we've got a FastPass for Haunted Mansion, but then we have to book it over to Space Mountain, then get on the monorail for our California Grill ADR!" It makes it more fun than just "ugh I have to walk x miles today."

Also, it seems SUPER obvious but good shoes are KEY! I'm typically a shoe maven but when I'm at Disney I go for my trusty running shoes/athleisure gear to avoid any knee or foot pain. (I leave for WDW in exactly a week and while I'm an active runner/rower I know it will be a different trip for me stamina-wise because I'm pregnant with our first! o_O )

During your trip remember to take a break when you feel like it! Our bodies are not the most reliable machines in the world so if all the walking is causing you pain, frustration and discomfort (even after training), there's nothing wrong with renting a mobility device so you can fully enjoy your trip!

Have a wonderful time!
 

Statefan17

Mouseketeer
Joined
Jun 10, 2014
We have an August trip planned and I too am walking daily with no real set goal but a minimum of 1 mile per day. My DD is in great shape and set up an exercise plan outside of my walking goal. The plan includes core/arms/mobility/cardio/stretching. Each day is different.

I am on the Walk to Disney Thread, which is helpful. I really like the idea of of pretending to walk between different rides, restaurants, events.. across the parks.
 

Luxe Travel Girl

Earning My Ears
Joined
Apr 17, 2021
We have an August trip planned and I too am walking daily with no real set goal but a minimum of 1 mile per day. My DD is in great shape and set up an exercise plan outside of my walking goal. The plan includes core/arms/mobility/cardio/stretching. Each day is different.

I am on the Walk to Disney Thread, which is helpful. I really like the idea of of pretending to walk between different rides, restaurants, events.. across the parks.
I like the idea that you are incorporating core and arms work. After all, there's no point walking if I can't carry my bags! I am going to try to find the Walk to Disney thread. Thank you so much!
 
  • Obi-J Kenobi

    Jedi Knight
    Joined
    Mar 15, 2021
    I wouldn't worrying too much about the amount of miles or steps you walk in a build up to a WDW trip.

    My number one recommendation is that you start a yoga routine. Morning yoga 30 minutes EVERY day. Then, walk once or twice a day EVERY day. Find what feels good for walking and don't over work your body. Keep that routine for 60 days before a trip and your joints and muscles will be in the best shape ever.
     

    disneyworldsk

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 10, 2014
    I wouldn't worrying too much about the amount of miles or steps you walk in a build up to a WDW trip.

    My number one recommendation is that you start a yoga routine. Morning yoga 30 minutes EVERY day. Then, walk once or twice a day EVERY day. Find what feels good for walking and don't over work your body. Keep that routine for 60 days before a trip and your joints and muscles will be in the best shape ever.
    can you recommend a good yoga guide for at home to begin with?
     

    disneyworldsk

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 10, 2014
    my plan to get in shape , i am within sixty days out, is today i am going to begin to walk on my street with different masks. i wear masks to stores, but haven't walked in one yet and i am concerned my breaths won't be in shape walking and masking. on my street i don't need one usually as no one is out walking with me here on a quiet suburban street.
     
  • NashvilleMama

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jan 18, 2013
    Start doing daily calf raises - set a goal of 10 a day, then 20 a day - even if you're just doing them flat from the floor (versus with a machine or even standing on a step, just be careful not to hyperextend!) Having strong calf muscles has been really key to avoiding knee pain in my experience.
     

    jbrinkm

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Oct 24, 2015
    Start doing daily calf raises - set a goal of 10 a day, then 20 a day - even if you're just doing them flat from the floor (versus with a machine or even standing on a step, just be careful not to hyperextend!) Having strong calf muscles has been really key to avoiding knee pain in my experience.
    Agree, and adding to this - if you can do a session or two with a personal trainer or talk to a doctor/PT, find a few good muscle strengthening exercises for your legs/knees. Strengthening the muscles slowly and safely can help to prevent some repetitive stress injuries (i.e. from walking 10 miles a day!).
     

    dclpluto

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 11, 2012
    I have been lazy lately. But what I did in the past I walked a half a marathon a day. 13.1 miles. Not all at one time but throughout the day. Than when you get to wdw walking 10 miles a day will be a breeze.
    I use to do it for about 6 days a week kind of had a rest day one day a week did that for a couple of years. I really need to get back to it.
     

    luvthatmouseinohio

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Sep 25, 2013
    I have found that in my 50’s I simply cannot do the parks at the same pace that I did in my 20’s. The walking doesn’t seem to get me nearly as much as the standing ... standing in one place for parades or in long lines for rides. Getting tired sooner used to bum me out so bad, but I’m learning in life that sometimes less is more. I notice so many more magical details that I rushed by before. Kudos to you for working on your health ... hope you have a fantastic pain-free trip!
     

    disneyworldsk

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 10, 2014
    I have found that in my 50’s I simply cannot do the parks at the same pace that I did in my 20’s. The walking doesn’t seem to get me nearly as much as the standing ... standing in one place for parades or in long lines for rides. Getting tired sooner used to bum me out so bad, but I’m learning in life that sometimes less is more. I notice so many more magical details that I rushed by before. Kudos to you for working on your health ... hope you have a fantastic pain-free trip!
    I agree. I wonder what can help us with the standing issue?
     

    kanerf

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 16, 2009
    Also, wear your mask for 4 hours at a time which is what you may encounter in the parks. There are cooling stations where you can take your mask off, but there are not many of them. You can be standing in line for some of the rides for up to two hours and will be required to be masked at all times.
     

    Naomeri

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 14, 2019
    Not sure if anyone else has mentioned it, but don’t forget stretching. On my Disney trip in January 2020, it was my calves that were crippling me. But after that trip, I started stretching more, and by October 2020, I didn’t have that problem anymore. I’m still working on building up endurance, but a midday break seems to help with that.
     


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