My Quest for Steps

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Or how I walked 5 miles in my house

I wrote about my strange rungries and sleep disturbances when I started to run again after a short runbbatical here. This week I’m going to talk about how I managed to get in my steps — even with bitter cold, no running, limited power, and no dog walks.

Fairytales and Fitness

Imagine this scenario: it’s about 1 degree outside. You’ve lost power, but at least the generator is keeping the house warm. No treadmill though, so running, while an option for some, wasn’t an option for me — it was not only cold, it was incredibly windy, which is why we lost power in the first place.

I live in an ordinary house of roughly 1800 square feet. Now can you imagine getting in 10,000 steps with no treadmill and without going outside (except to get the mail)?

Pay attention to the Garmin
I’ve been working on upping my steps on non running days for a while now. Since I have a Garmin Vivoactive, it buzzes to let me know that I’ve been immobile for too long. I often use that as a sign to get up and move around.

Except when I don’t. Sometimes I get engrossed in whatever I am doing and I just ignore my Garmin. It does help me be mindful of when I’m sitting too long, though.

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Up and down, around and round, for 5 miles

Walk around every hour
If I wait for my Garmin to buzz at me, no doubt I’ve already been sitting too long. So my next thought was to try to get up every hour and walk around a little. This is a really good strategy — again, when you can pry yourself away from whatever it is you’re doing.

Some days, when I know that I’m likely to be less active, I up the ante and try to get up every half hour. I don’t always, of course, but having a goal makes it more likely that you actually do something.

Extend the pacing
Rather than worrying too much about steps, I set a simple goal to walk around a couple of minutes every hour. Then I’d try to beat that: walk for 3 minutes, walk for 4, etc. It really doesn’t seem like much, but it can sure add up over the course of a day.

If you’re at work, walking every hour and extending the time you walk are good strategies — if it’s possible at your place of work, of course. A walking lunch break can really help you get in some steps; it has the added benefit of hopefully getting  you outside and giving you some more energy.

Where there’s a will, there’s a way
I did it. 5 miles simply walking around my house, either in a conscious attempt to get in more steps or just as part of my normal day. No dogwalk, no run. I won’t say it was easy, but it is doable.

How do you get in your steps when you can’t get outside?

Do you have a certain number of steps you aim for each day?

What is the weirdest thing you’ve ever done to meet your step goal?

You can do anything you set your mind to — the trick is to make the decision to just do it (thank you, Nike) and just take the first step. — Chocolaterunsjudy

26 thoughts on “My Quest for Steps

  1. When I had a Fitbit I tried to get 10k steps. Everyday.

    Now I’ve lost interest. I don’t even look each day. My Apple Watch does keep track. It tells to get up. I usually ignore it.

    If I run I get in lots of steps. Otherwise probably not. It all balances out in the end.

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    1. It’s a couple of minutes every hour, for the most part, but it can add up. On a normal day I probably get a couple of miles in my house—just doing normal stuff. But if I didn’t make the extra effort that’s all it would be!

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    1. As I said to everyone it’s not like I did it all at once! Because of the lack of power (generator doesn’t power everything) there were many things I couldn’t do. I don’t belong to a gym. And it was freakin’ cold out! But I can walk. 😊

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  2. I was obsessed with getting in steps for a while, I would even march while brushing my teeth. Now I just try and stay active. When I am stuck inside and can’t walk outside I find things to clean or organize, vacuum….I try to be productive while staying active instead of simply walking around.

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    1. I wouldn’t say I’m obsessed with steps; I do try to be aware of when I’m inactive. And the generator doesn’t power everything so I was somewhat limited in what I could do that day (no baking, for instance).

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  3. On days where i feel not as active, I try to find reasons to go up the stairs at home and get something. I once ran in circles in my cul de sac to get 3 miles run in bc it was too icy everywhere else. neighbors must have thought I was nuts!

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  4. I’d be curious just how many steps I get each day. I don’t wear a tracker of any sort unless I have my phone with me (but I’m not certain that’s very accurate). My strategy for indoor fitness is to just be on my feet. At work, I’m all over the building, numerous times…heading to the printer, running to the shredder (upstairs), or even taking the “long route” to the bathroom. When it’s warm, a gal and I do brief 15-minute walk breaks.

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  5. I’m a total fitbit addict, but I think it works for me because it pushes me to go that little bit more. There are days though where I don’t get anywhere close to goal and I’m OK with that. My subway commute is about 4K steps, round trip. I love it when I can walk home because that’s just shy of three miles. Trade off, s a 600 step apartment and that’s two laps

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    1. Well, right now I’m averaging maybe 1500 – 2000 steps and yes, I don’t care. Actually today I think I’ll actually walk the dogs so I’ll get a bit above that.

      It’s relatively easy on days I run. Especially if I walk the dogs, too. Much harder on days I don’t run & can’t walk the dogs!

      Hopefully you’ll get to walk home a lot more as we warm up. Although next week looks like it could be rainy in true April fashion. It may have been cold & windy yesterday, but hey, at least there was sun & it was dry!

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      1. I came in at ~10.5 K each of the last two days. Totally OK with missing goal. One thing that I’ll touch on in this week’s run down is true rest days, which I never really did before

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      2. Well, if by true rest day you mean doing nothing, I will admit that only happens when I’m sick. I’ve got dogs with cabin fever. 🙂

        But I will do rest days with just dog walks (which are super slow — try walking 2 dogs at once & just imagine all the stopping — and of course Lola is also 13) & yoga. Which describes my life at the moment.

        But I’m not training for anything so no reason to push hard. I’ll be mentoring for our local big women’s race again this year — I missed our first day unfortunately — but I’ll probably go sat. It’s only 20 minutes & it’s run/walk.

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      3. Rest day in the sense of not chasing goal just for the sake of goal and no gym visit. If it’s a work day there’s probably at lest 5K even if I take the train to and from.

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      4. I’m pretty good about taking at least one rest day a week — just walking & Yoga. I definitely think rest is not underrated. It’ll keep you running longer. It’s pretty rare I just rest totally.

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