As I continue to try and get my health on track, one thing I have done way more of is walking. This is something most medical people stress people should do as it’s one of the easiest forms of exercise.
And I’ve been doing it more for a while.
Of course, just because you walk isn’t a foolproof way to get your health back on track. You still have to eat better and watch all other aspects in your life. But walking, by and large, is something we can all do more of.
This feature, which I mentioned doing a few months ago, will be a monthly log about walking in life. I plan to do this monthly, and it will cover a lot of different things – be it just about walking or about other aspects (apps, technology, shoes, random observations/stories etc.), but more or less a way to talk about walking and how beneficial it has been for me.
For this first one, however, I’d like to cover 2019. This was the year where I really started to push more at walking. And even though I didn’t do as much as I hoped (there were a few drop off times), I think I stayed pretty focused, especially toward the end of the year.
It was also the year where I started tracking things when it came to walking, such as a Google spreadsheet to keep track of my miles and different walks.
Also, as part of my Day Zero Project, I wanted to get 10 million steps over those 1,001 days. I tend to track a bunch of other things as well, though they don’t always work out in a way that makes sense.
Midway through 2019, I also swapped out my Fitbit for an Apple Watch. I’m glad I made this switch and I will eventually have a post about this and the reasons I switched and stuck it out.
In 2019, I logged 1,808.93 miles. Now, take into account, this is everyday life. So this is any dedicated walks, work, travel – any time I am walking. That came down to 4,028,006 steps. That’s a pretty good start to my 10 million goal, I’d say.
That being said, the year was up and down. My best months were March (171.37 miles) and April (380,000 steps) in regard to steps and mileage. From there, it started to go down a bit. The lowest point came in October (298,795 steps), though September had been my fourth-best month of the year in regard to steps. The mileage, overall, took a dip when I switched from the Fitbit to the Apple Watch, which I am not sure if it’s because I never got it calibrated right, or if it was because of how I was using it. I think I finally have it set right, and this is a topic I’ll cover down the road.
All of this is in correlation with my diabetes battle and watching my numbers go all over the place. Up and up, before I finally started paying attention to get them to come down. October wasn’t a good month and I knew it – so November and December were vastly improved when it came to steps.
I also kept track of my actual walks. These are the ones where I go out with the specific reason to walk or do something in an exercise vantage point – ie hiking, or even shoveling snow. Though a side note, I figured a better way to track exercise such as shoveling snow, so in late 2019 and 2020 so far, they are not registered as walks anymore.
All in all, I logged 414 walks in 2019, which came out to 824.81 miles. My best month for walks came in January (44) and November (41), which the top mileage coming in September (79.67), March (76.63), and April (76.16).
So far, in 2020, I’m really pushing myself and am averaging easily two walks per day as I am doing my best to get in a walk in the morning and at night. Those morning ones can be pretty tough at times!
That all in mind, I’ve pushed. And it’s not even February 20th yet, and I’ve already logged nearly 35 walks for the month. If I don’t falter, this month will easily be my best since I started tracking what I am doing with myself.
I can dig that.
And when I tackle the Apple Watch in the future, I’ll get way more in-depth about closing the rings and earning badges, but I’d be lying if I said that hasn’t helped me. They are small things, but they motivate. And any type of motivation is good if it gets you out walking and such. There are a few apps, too, that I’ve been using that help me along the way. One of them (Relive), I need to use more, especially in conjunction with some blog posts.
In 2019, I also took part in my first real 5K. Though I walked it (which, I found out, a lot of people do), I was pretty stoked with myself in doing that. My goal is by the end of 2020 to actually run a 5K, if I can get my feet feeling better (more on that in the future, too) and get myself into the kind of shape where I can at least jog a 5K in the 40 minute range, On a good pace, I can do a 5K in about 50-52 minutes when walking. There’s no reason to think I can’t shave 10-12 minutes or more off that if I’m actually jogging/running. I am actually signed up for two 5Ks in Philadelphia – the Phillies one in March (which I did last year and walkers were aplenty), and the Rocky Run in November (which I will need to run as they have certain time criteria).
Goal set and I am focused.
When all came to an end in 2019, I learned a lot. Mainly, I learned about myself and what I was trying to do. Reality is, I haven’t always been the most healthy. Hell, I’m still not. But I’m doing everything I can to move more and to become a better me. I’m trying to do more things that get me moving. This year, my hope is to ride my bike more and get out and kayak.
Hopefully by the time I do a post like this next year, I’ll have even better results and different aspects to cover.
How about any of you reading? Are you big walkers? Something more? Or what kinds of things do you do for exercise? I’m always looking to expand!
Feel free to leave a comment, or e-mail P.J. at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, please “Like” A ‘lil HooHaa on Facebook! You can also follow me on Twitter @softball29!
Dawn aka Spatulas On Parade says
Hi PJ! I’m very interested in the comparison of the FitBit and Apple watch as I have been flip flopping for some time now as to which one to buy. I’m leaning towards the Apple. I have an XR phone now.
I have been walking for exercise and with our weather I use Leslie Sansone videos. Walking at home.
Also I use free hand weights, body resistant exercises and a Weirder home gym machine. Not as much as I should but you have to start somewhere.
I’m thinking the Apple because I am goal oriented and love the idea of completing circle/rings and such.
Last year I logged 1,823,252 which may not sound like a lot but considering the year before was only 369,263 logged, it’s a vast improvement. I’m sure I did more but wasn’t always using my phone or fitness tracker.
BRAVO for taking steps to improve your health.
Dawn aka Spatulas On Parade recently posted..Chicken Pot Pie Soup – Word Count Feb 2020
The Fitbit/Apple Watch comparison post is almost done. I just haven’t decided if I’ll do it by itself, or as one of my features. The Apple watch is a massive investment, though. But if you are already vested in the Apple ecosystem (phone etc.), then it becomes well worth it. I don’t do much inside — I walk no mater the weather outside. Though I keep thinking about an elliptical as I always loved those. I hate going to gyms, so it might be an investment I put down eventually. The rings are addictive with Apple, though for me can sometimes be easy to fill. The other things, though, such as their monthly challenges are harder. For example, February’s challenge is having 2,490 minutes of exercise this month, which breaks down to 85 per day. I *usually* get to that level, and often times I’m well beyond 100. So far this month I have just shy of 2,000, so I won’t have any issues. But still, the challenges are not always easy and that makes it a lot more fun. I will try and finish this post soon so I can get it up. I need to get some photos done of each as well, but I might be able to do that this weekend.
Mrs GeoK / Denise says
Walking is great – for the body and mind! Good for you for setting and reaching goals. Over the past few years we’ve transitioned to walking as our main form of transportation for errands (possible because we’re both working from home/freelance/almost retired and because we’re empty nesters). According to my Fitbit, I averaged about 16,000 steps/day in 2019, for a total of about 2,760 miles. This includes steps that accumulate while working out, so the actual distance will be somewhat lower. I find the Fitbit helps me get up and around for at least a few minutes every hour and gives me an indication of how active I am each day — all good input for the following day. Keep it up and I look forward to your Fitbit / Apple watch comparison.
Walking has been great for me in so many days. I tend to walk for most things now when it’s in town. I never used to be that way, but it’s such a better way. And I love popping in my ear buds and listening to a podcast for the walks. I never did my average for 2019, but it’s just a bit more than 11,000 steps per day. I’d like to make sure my average is beyond 12,000 this year, as that guarantees me 5+ miles per day. It will be interesting to see how I do once baseball season starts and I go to more games, as those would be around when I’d be taking my “second walk” of the day. I will definitely figure things out, though, as I can’t let myself regress. That Apple watch comparison will be coming soon!