Gentle New Year’s Resolution #1

Ok, we all know we’re supposed to exercise and eat right. We sense it intellectually and know it to our core… right? Still, on some level “losing weight” or “eating right” become these sort of intangible goals and resolutions that don’t really mean anything at the end of the day. They’re lost to visions of muscle bound weight lifters, 4.67% body-fat aerobics instructors at the gym, Lindsey Lohan, Nicole Richie and the whole slough of bulimics we see on television & the media every single day. Alright, I know I’m generalizing, and maybe I’m being unfair to Ms. Lohan & Ms. Richie, but go with it, I’m trying to make a point.

So, me, I decided to take baby steps…. lots and lots of baby steps. Rather than binging and purging, I decided to start walking. Walking like crazy. Walking like I’ve never walked before. I know for some of you the idea of walking 10,000 steps per day for overall health and well-being is no shocker. But mark my words, for those of you who haven’t strapped on a pedometer and measured how many steps you take in an ordinary day you may just suffer a small heart attack when you check your stats at the end of the day. The average American gets about 2,000 steps, by the way.

10,000 steps is approximately 5 miles, give or take, depending on your stride. Did you know that In the May 2004 journal of Medicine & Science in Sports and Exercise, a study showed that men & women who walked at least 10,000 steps per day averaged 18 percent less body fat than those who walked fewer than 6,000 steps per day?

Granted, my baby steps started right before New Year’s Eve of 2005, but hey, now that I’ve got over 4,539,000 steps (yes, I’m serious) I’m completely proud of my baby steps and well, hey, they take a little longer than regular steps, but in the end, isn’t it all about the journey? Point is, I’m moving in the right direction. Did you know that you can walk about 1,200 steps in approximately 10 minutes?

I’m telling you, people, it’s not hard and it’s FUN! I’m completely and utterly addicted to Trainster, a site that will track your daily steps (with the help of an inexpensive pedometer) from here on out. Don’t get crazy at first – set your goal for 10,000 steps per day. See if you’re on track or if you need to step it up! Once you get going, you can challenge yourself to more steps per week until you’re, well, a slimmer, healthier you.

Now excuse me, it’s 7:45pm and I still have over 5,000 steps to take before I can go to bed.


3 Comments so far

  1. Betsy (unregistered) on January 5th, 2006 @ 11:31 am

    I need to get out my pedometer – I walk a lot, but it’s in fits and spurts (short distances), it seems. Now you’ve got me curious to see how it adds up during the course of a day…!

  2. Vern (unregistered) on January 9th, 2006 @ 7:23 am

    I started walking several months ago. At first I didn’t count steps, but later found it a good incentive. I love walking now. I’m losing weight, and feel better than I have for years. My goal for 2006 is to lose a pound a week. Walking works!

  3. Portlander (unregistered) on January 10th, 2006 @ 11:05 am

    I began walking in December 2003. I have three routes, a 4 mile route, 6.1 mile route and 8.9 mile route. I have centered on the 6.1 mile route for 95% of my walking. I walk approx 5-6 nights per week, leaving the house between 8PM and 11 PM. It takes me between 1 hour 28 minutes and 1 hour 35 minutes to walk the 6.1 miles. Route…down 19th to NE Fremont, up Fremont to NE 57th, cut over to NE Sandy, down Sandy to NE 45th, in to Thompson down to Grant HS, walk around Grant HS across 33rd on NE US Grant Place to NE 28th, back over and down Thompson to NE 22nd, cut out to NE Broadway, down Broadway to NE 19th, right on 19th the few blocks to home. I shed 30 pounds in a year, and have basically plateau’d at around 25 pounds lost. Back to a healthy weight, I just maintain nowadays. The best thing for me has been the iPod, which I listen to books on. Go through about 1 novel per week, and have listened to dozens of excellent books (mainly history, biographies, non-fiction stuff) and plenty of music along the way too. I recommend the iPod. Most of the time my German Shepherd accompanies me too. Have seen lots of interesting things on my walks….traffic accidents, police busts, and you get a sense for daily change on the neighborhoods, homes and businesses along the route. The change along NE Fremont and NE Sandy is particularly interesting. I’ve thwarted car breakins in my neighborhood, observed a “tagger” or two in the middle of the night, and seen various and sundry other things happen. Walking has become a part of my life and I can’t ever imagine stopping. I’m male, 38 years old, and always was pretty fit and trim, just wanted to get back to my college/post-college weight.

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