DEAR HARRIETTE: I have started walking for fitness, and it is good for me: I am slowly getting healthier and shedding a bit of weight. Because I am still heavy, though, I can walk only so far before my knees start hurting. I work with a trainer who recommended that I walk 3 miles or less to protect my knee. That works -- except when I meet up with one friend. She walks a lot and almost always pushes me to walk farther. The route she likes to take is more like 5 miles. I want to keep up with her, so I try to do it, but usually afterward I pay with pain. I have told her repeatedly, but she doesn’t listen. I don’t want to lose my time with this friend, but I don’t want to hurt myself either. What can I do? -- Walk Too Far
DEAR WALK TOO FAR: Your friend is either selfish or unconscious. Either way, you do not have the luxury of indulging her whims. Tell her one more time what your limitations are, then design the route you will walk yourself. Figure out how you can walk 3 miles and end up at home -- whether or not she walks the whole route with you. Do not give in to her plan when you know it doesn’t take your limitations into account. If she refuses to walk your path, stop walking with her. Make other plans to get together with her that do not involve exercise.