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!