walkitout (walkitout) wrote,

A Few Remarks About Walking

It is just possible that at some point in reading this blog, you might have asked yourself, whyever the fuck does this woman post under the handle "walkitout"? And the answer is: because I find there are few problems that are not improved by walking and, ideally, talking about those problems with a friend.

I did not always feel this way. And I do not always have time to walk as much as I would like. For example, during the exhausting kids-really-young years, I was lucky to get a one mile walk in most week days. However, for the last couple years, I've been trying to get my mileage back up to What It Once Was. When I lived in Seattle, a lot of my walking was around Green Lake (just under 3 miles -- there were days when I'd meet a sequence of friends for walks and coffee or a meal, and wind up going around the lake three times), altho I eventually decided that flat was boring and started hiking. I had three glorious years of hiking before marriage/relocation/children destroyed my healthy habits.


Anyway. Back in March, IIRC, I got a FitBit, which put me on tilt. I'd been trying to consistently hit 10K steps using an Omron for years, but often was under or waaaayyy over (which did Un Pretty Things to my mood), but the FitBit ecosystem caused me to escalate. I then got the Apple Watch, and I have sort of quit paying attention to steps (no more FitBit ecosystem. Sigh) in favor of road miles. And I am pleased to note that I've been consistently hitting 4-6 miles per day, every day of the week, for a few weeks now (highest mileage day was 7). These aren't steps that add up to miles -- those are much higher. These are measured miles on the road and sidewalk.

To be utterly clear. I DO NOT RUN. This is all walking mileage. It hadn't really occurred to me that this was something to be impressed by, until my marathon running (altho that's gone by now) and century riding (he still does that occasionally) husband pointed out that his weekly running mileage never got much higher than the 30-35 I am now doing.

So there's that.

Here's how I did it. I added loops to my 1 mile walk, but not consecutively. So I'd go for a 1 mile walk in the morning, one after lunch, then one in the evening. I started consolidating, so I'd walk a mile myself, then a mile with my walking partner. Then I started taking a 3 mile loop walk in the evening, instead of multiple loops together. I have the early stages of arthritis in my feet and hands, so I can't suddenly increase -- I have to work up to everything slowly. And I'm heavy (over 200 pounds) so I replace my shoes regularly. It's good to have music and/or a headset that you can talk on the phone with a friend to help the time go by, when you don't feel like just thinking.

When it's hot and muggy, of course, you want a shower even after a slow walk, but if you just mosey along and the weather isn't too nuts, you really can break up a large volume of exercise throughout the day. I won't say that if I can do it, anyone can do it, because I couldn't have done this when the kids were younger. But if you are struggling to fit physical activity into your day, I'm a big fan of slow, steady and in bite-size chunks.
Tags: exercise
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