What I’ve learned from 20,000 30,000! steps

I hate my brain sometimes.

I can go months feeling guilty and in a rut, sure that I SHOULD start exercising and knowing that I COULD start exercising and just … not doing it.

But then Jim reminded me that two summers ago he was doing a 10k step a day challenge at work, and how it made him feel that summer, and I thought, well, hell, there’s proof right there that it’s possible. So I started doing it. I’d already been running for two weeks so I was getting around 5-7k steps a day, so if I run in the morning, do my normal movement throughout the day, and then do a walk at night, there’s my 10k. *

And holy shit, it worked.

I’ve been running two days on, and one day rest, so I’m a little worried about how I’m going to manage the 10k steps on a rest day,** but I have discovered some things:

  • It’s about 500 steps to my friends Richard and Melinda’s house. So I could walk to and from their house during writing breaks 10x and be done. Don’t worry guys, it’s not stalking; it’s exercise!
  • I can wear flipflops all day, but if I do a concentrated 1,000-step walk in them, I will get blisters between my toes. Don’t do that again.
  • I’m an even bigger slave to my fitbit now than before, as I REALLY want all the steps to count. I tried to explain to Jim and the dogs this morning that I couldn’t feed them (the dogs) until the fitbit charged, else those steps would be wasted. None of them thought this was a good excuse…
  • I’ve joined fi.tt for daily step challenges. I think the site is somewhat new, because there aren’t a lot of challenges, but it’s an interesting place because some of the challenges are a flat number (1 million steps this summer!) but others challenge you based on your own level, just saying to walk 20% more steps than usual, for example.
  • I’m really, really getting a lot of Zombies, Run! and The Walk episodes down. This pleases me so very much.
  • Rest days are difficult. Very difficult. I was in a car for 3 hours today, going to fetch the kid, and in the middle of the trip we stopped for lunch where there were no treadmills. Whole Foods really should install treadmill tables. So I came home and went for a 3 mile walk to the grocery store, and still had to walk 1.5 miles tonight to make the 10k. But I made it, dammit. Tomorrow I run again.
  • I am feeling better and feeling very accomplished. This is what exercise is supposed to do. But I’m also focusing on this a lot and when I am done exercising I feel a little too accomplished – ie, I’ve done the one big thing I am supposed to do, so then it’s naptime and Hannibal marathon, and those chores and writing and family time be damned. So I have to figure out how to make sure I don’t wear myself out at the expense of everything else in my life. I hear this exercise thing will make me have more energy after my body stops being OMG SO FREAKING TIRED after walking and running all the places.

* I work from home, so things like “just park further away from work and take the stairs!” pieces of advice don’t work that well for me. Although I am parking further away when I do errands.
** I started this post this morning, and finished it tonight, so I can say that rest days are hard, but doable.

by Mur

Herself who runneth this site.

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