walkitout (walkitout) wrote,

Ah, the mysteries of 2 walks vs 1 walk

By stepping out my door, going out to the sidewalk, and making all right turns, I arrive back at my door step almost exactly 1 mile later, with some hills. It makes for a pleasant 20-30 minute (or more) walk, depending on the slickness of the pavement and whether or not a small dog is doing the walk with me and any human companions, and the mood of said dog.

Generally, I try to do that walk (or a longer, 3 mile walk, but I haven't done that lately because of snow accumulation -- but I'm feeling optimistic again. And the Nature Walks have been canceled for similar reasons) once a day, most days of the week. My walking partner is a fabulous assist on this. When things are going well for me, R. and I might do the long walk on Friday, which helps. I sometimes even get out on weekend days, if the kids and the weather are cooperative (altho even when the weather isn't cooperative, I've still done it if there are other motivational factors -- I've done it in snowshoes, for example).

What I have noticed is that when I get very focused, and try to do the walk once with my walking partner and once by myself -- that is, 2 walks rather than 1, and both 1 mile, rather than attempting the 3 mile loop -- there is an inexplicable effect on total step count for the day. On a typical 1 walk day, I'll wind up with around 7 or 8 thousand steps. The walk is about 2500 steps, give or take (more if the dog is very slow, less if I'm by myself and taking longer steps). So I would expect to come out at just about exactly l0K, if I didn't change _anything_ except adding a second walk. But that isn't what happens. Like, ever. If I get two walks, I get the expected total 5K ish aerobic steps, but the second walk also does something to my day where I do a bunch of additional walking, adding up to 1-3K more steps total. Today was an extreme version of that effect (to be fair, I also went swimming, and that confuses FitBit to the tune of a very small number of hundred additional steps), and I wound up at around 14K.

Tags: daily activities

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