Lessons Learned From 10,000 Steps a Day

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

I decided earlier this month that I was going to make a conscious effort to fit in the recommended 10,000 steps per day. As someone who sits at a desk for more than eight hours every day, I knew it was something I really needed to do. Also, I just really like walking. I know some people find it rather boring (ahem, my husband), but I am all about a form of exercise that doesn't involve jumping around like a mad person and sweating buckets in the process. You can keep your Insanity, I'll just take a walk, thankyouverymuch. The first day I reached my goal, my legs were so sore. That's when I knew I had to keep it up. I didn't want to be the weakling who can't walk 10,000 steps without her muscles screaming for the couch and a bowl of ice cream.

I have been using the Health app on my phone to track my steps this month. It isn't ideal since there are a lot of times during the day when I forget to carry my phone with me. I'm looking into getting a Fitbit or some other kind of tracker, but for the time being this app has worked out okay. Here are a few lessons I've learned along the way.

10,000 steps is a lot more than you think it is.
I learned this lesson a day after I thought, "10,000 steps doesn't sound too bad. I can do this!" Then I checked my app at the end of the day to find I had walked a whopping 700 steps that day. Insert sad-face emoji here.

Always pack deodorant.
Taking a walk around the block on my lunch break is really nice. Returning to my desk all sweaty is really not. I've learned to carry a small tube of deodorant in my purse at all times.

Morning walks actually aren't a special form of torture. 
I've heard people singing praise for morning exercise before, but I never believed them. Turns out, it's really not that hard to wake up an hour earlier. And there's something really refreshing about early morning walks around the neighborhood.

Walking is a productive use of time.
After a week of waking up early to go walking, I realized that I had completely stopped checking my phone in the morning. Before walking my routine was: hit snooze six times, check and read emails, scroll through Instagram, scroll through Facebook, scroll through Bloglovin', check email again, get out of bed. I justified it by saying it helped me wake up in the morning. Although, when has shining an obnoxious back-lit screen into your face ever helped you wake up in a good mood? Now that I've started exercising in the mornings, I just don't have time to lay in bed and look at my phone. Unless I want to wake up even earlier (please no!), I have to get straight out of bed and put my tennis shoes on. The email checking can wait until I'm actually at work.

There are so many opportunities to walk.
I never realized how often I sit down until I intentionally started walking more. My sister and I were in Madewell one day and when she went into the dressing room, I instantly flopped down on the sofa in the store before realizing what I was doing. Later, we went into a restaurant to eat dinner and I found myself sitting on a bench while we waited for our table. It took a little while to break the habit of looking around for a chair whenever I'm waiting for something, but I'm slowly getting better about it. There really are so many opportunities to walk whether it is parking as far away from the door as possible, pacing around the dressing room, or making laps on a restaurant's sidewalk. Sure, you might get a few strange looks but those haters aren't getting their 10,000 steps in, now are they?

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