My exercise goal is to walk 10,000 steps a day. Since I usually don’t walk on Sunday, it is important for me to walk more than 10,000 steps on the other six days. Some days I don’t feel motivated to take my walk. On those days, I make the decision to walk to a destination, so that I must walk back home in order to get my steps. Today, I put off my walk; I didn’t want to walk around the townhouse or drive to the church to walk on the treadmill. The weather was beautiful and about lunch time I decided to walk to the cafeteria, eat lunch and walk home again. The cafeteria is almost two miles away so this trip would accomplish two things: provide a healthy lunch and complete my steps for the day.
We all have days when our motivation is low and it really helps to walk to a destination. We have a city park with a three-mile loop, so sometimes I drive there to walk the loop. The city has also created walking/bike trails and I like to walk those trails. The idea is to walk out half the distance you want to cover and when you walk, back you are finished.
There are a couple of items that I use to motivate me and to add another layer of accountability: 1) I wear a Fitbit that counts my steps each day. I also receive an e-mail from Fitbit once a week that tells me the number of steps I walked for the week, the number of stairs I climbed, the number of miles I covered and the number of calories I burned. 2) A free app mapmyrun.com is another motivator for me. I start the app when I begin my walk and it gives me the total time walked and number of miles covered. The app talks to me every mile and tells me that I completed the mile and the time it took me to walk it. This motivates me to try and make better time on the next mile.
Walking with a friend helps the time pass quickly so this is a great way to exercise. A couple of times a week I meet a friend at church, and we walk side by side on treadmills while working on our First Place 4 Health memory verses. We just finished our session and both of us were able to say all ten of our memory verses to each other. This friend was convinced that she could not memorize Scripture, but she has not only done it, she now knows she can do it. Next session we will add one new verse each week and practice the ten she memorized this session.
I know you are as glad as I am to see winter leave this year. Why not take advantage of the beautiful spring weather and get outside to exercise every chance you get? Who knows, it might even become a habit!
Carole Lewis, First Place 4 Health National Director Emeritus