Sunday, January 22, 2012
Step By Step
I have become a slug. This was not a surprise to me. I know how much time I spend in front of the computer and/or tv (sometimes at the same time). Don't forget my other favorite pastime ... reading. I also drive a lot for work which means lots of time spent sitting around. Generally, I like sitting around being a bum. None of these activities however inspire movement of any kind. Well, maybe when I raise and lower my coffee cup and click my fingers along the keyboard. Still, not many calories being burned there.
The two things I decided to focus on for January were writing and walking. My friend Liz recommended a great digital pedometer which I promptly ordered from Amazon. I really had no idea how much I walked on an average day. It took me a few days after receiving it to decide to try to get it set up. I hate trying to figure out my stride and fiddle with the settings. I finally sat down one day when the house was empty and quiet and figured the damn thing out. It was actually pretty easy. I got it all set up and headed outside to take the dog for a walk. That was a good day. I took Belle on three loops around our trail; one in the morning, one at lunch and one before dark. She was happy, and I was too.
Belle and I did that three days the first week I had the pedometer. Each trip around our trail is 3/4 of a mile and takes about 15 minutes. Since that first week, I pretty much backslid into business as usual. I even forgot to wear it one day. I did walk on the treadmill a couple of nights but then life got busy as it is prone to do, and my ambition waned. When it was warmer outside, I made Grace take Belle for a quick 10 minute walk in the mornings before school. Now that it's cold, I don't have the patience or the desire to arm wrestle her into doing it. I don't even want to take the dog for a walk on those mornings so she's stuck in the kennel until Grandpa picks up Grace after school and takes her for a walk.
Today, I MADE myself walk her around the trail twice. It was hard. It's cold. I didn't want to do it. I did feel great when I got back inside and warmed up around the pellet stove. Belle is noticibly calmer when she gets to expend some of her energy as well. I know in my HEAD that it's a win/win. My heart and the rest of me take more convincing.
I just checked the trip meter on the pedometer. It's been eleven days since I started using it, and I have 48,676 steps on it. There is a great Walking Site that explains about the whole step thing and how many you should strive for. Basically, 10,000 steps equals about five miles. Two thousand plus steps equals a mile. So in eleven days and despite my lackluster ambition, I have walked about twenty four miles (if I did my math correctly). You should check that though. Seriously.
For the optimal health benefit, I should have been somewhere closer to 110,000 steps. I was less than half. I have got to move it! Uggg. Why can't it just be easy? But you know it never is. I know it never is. Exercise always feels uphill both ways.
I think back to ten years ago, when I was a walking/hiking machine! I was in the best shape of my life then. Now ... not so much. On a birighter note, I have managed to lose five pounds in the little effort I have exerted so far. Well, that and not eating two chocolate chip cookies four times a week at Subway. It really is the little things that add up.
Now, I just need to keep adding up those steps.