Monday, 20 August 2012

Let's Take it up a Notch...

Last week was the first full week of adding walks 3x/week into my workout routine, and I think it's time to increase the daily steps targets in my Fitbit.

When I first signed up for the Fitbit back in January, I was barely able to walk 2,000 steps each day.  Over time, as my endurance and energy increased with my overall fitness, that number crept up to 3,000 and then 4,000 average steps per day. 

Most recently, my target was set at 5,000 steps per day.  For the last two weeks, I have been blowing that target out of the water, because of the added walks in my routine.  I have also been walking to and from the office more regularly.  Although that walk to the office is so short (8 minutes or less) that it alone cannot account for the sudden uptick in steps taken, the 3 20-35 minute walks I have been taking in the evenings certainly can.

Last Friday my partner and I walked 2.7 miles to and from the post office.  Although that is a long walk for me right now, as time goes on this will be the norm.  Certainly it is my goal to be able to comfortably walk 3 miles in an outing, as this is what my partner's mom does on her daily walks.  If I can keep up with them, I will be doing well. 

The last time we went for one of her infamous walks (or as I like to call them, grim death marches), I spent much of the time just trying to make it to the next landmark, and praying for the walk to end.  I hindsight I don't think the walk was even that long, but it certainly felt long to me.  I barely made it, and was appalled at my lack of fitness.  And that was before I really let myself go and stopped moving almost entirely, a couple of years ago, so you can imagine what would have happened if I had tried to go on the same walk last December.  You don't have to imagine, I will tell you - - I would not have made it out of the parking lot to reach the walking path, as the lot was some distance from the entrance to the park, and in December I couldn't comfortably walk a block and a half without stopping for a break.

Now, however, after almost 8 months of working out steadily, I would be able to handle that walk.  First, I would be emotionally able to handle it, because I would be confident that I have handled similar walks at home.  The distance may be a bit more than I am used to (although it may not be once I have ramped up my walking plan), but I am not at all uncomfortable when I finish my walks now, so there's no reason to think that I could not walk further, if required.

I would also have a way of controlling uncertainty.  I know that my partner's mom likes to walk 2-3 miles on her daily walks.  I would simply turn on my DigiFit app and tell it I am going on a walk, and then it would track my heart rate, calories burned, and distance travelled.  I would even be able to see the path taken on the walk appear on a map in the app.  All of this helps me know how far we have walked, and where, which would help me gauge how long we have left to walk.  Knowing that the walk is almost over stops it from feeling like it is never going to end (which is what the last walk felt like). 

This is not to say that I would be jumping up to volunteer to take a walk, necessarily, but I would not try to avoid it.  And I would be better physically able to handle the walk, and thereby enjoy the company of my partner and his family. 

All of which is the long way of saying that I need to increase my Fitbit target steps, because I ain't going to be walking less anytime soon.

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