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