Image of the February 2022 Wilderness Magazine Cover Read more from the
February 2022 Issue
Home / Articles / Walk 1200km

I’m doing it to stay healthy

Photo: Karen Palmer

At 83 years old, Karen Palmer is one of the oldest Walk1200km participants.

A former physician at Wellington Hospital, 83-year-old Karen Palmer should know a thing or two about staying healthy. She was in the fourth week of Walk1200km when she spoke to Wilderness and was already exceeding her weekly goals by walking the steep streets around Wadestown. She says her secret is just sticking at it.

“Your joints will seize up if you don’t use them,” Palmer says. “I think people are also put off, saying ‘I might get tired, or I might get sore’, but you just have to do what suits you and make it enjoyable. I go walking in Ōtari-Wilton’s Bush, which is a nice place and great fun to walk through. You see other people, you can listen to the birds. You can walk a few kilometres before you know you’ve done it.

“I think people put themselves off before they start. But there’s no point in sitting around.”

She recommends doing the challenge with other people, who can help keep you motivated.

“It’s quite fun walking with other people. You can have a gas-bag time. It helps create a community.”

Have you signed up to do the Walk1200km challenge? Do it now.