Taking that one step towards exercising can be daunting. I have found though, that committing to doing one simple activity every day can be rewarding. At work, when I ran errands, I got in the car and headed to the bank, an eatery, or the downtown area to shop, even though it was only a ten minute walk. So one day I brought my athletic shoes to work, determined to hit the pavement during the lunch hour. I was on my way to becoming one of those women dressed in her business casual outfit with white athletic socks and running shoes. Obviously, style wasn’t my goal; I wanted to become a great walker! I envisioned my weekends urban hiking, mountain trail hiking, casually walking miles of beaches. So I ordered a pedometer to track my steps from the moment I dressed in the morning until I hit the bed at night.
I had researched and found that a healthy heart likes a person to walk five miles a day, which ends up being 10,000 steps. That first week out, I saw my community in a whole new light. Stores that I breezed past in my car, I now slowed my pace and window shopped, sometimes going in to look around. People I passed on the street gave me a nod of the head and a smile. I stood taller, held my head a little higher, my confidence grew; I was one of them, a member of the walking club. I bought an arm band to carry my iPod loaded with my new playlists, and found podcasts on health and fitness. As each week passed I went a little farther and by week three I was reaching my goal easily. I admit that there were nights I was short a couple hundred steps, and I found myself walking from the bedroom to the kitchen, then to the office, back to the bedroom and back to the kitchen, just to hit that magic number.
As a result of just walking, my eating habits changed. I wasn’t getting in my car to drive to the nearest fast food restaurant. I shopped for healthier options and brought my lunch. I started to slim down, which made me walk more, which in turn made me feel better, and then I ate better, so I walked more. I liked having to meet a daily goal, and the pedometer was a vital tool to keep me motivated. I bought a couple more for my co-workers to join me and we started a walking club at work. I enjoy the conversations we have and they are on the journey with me towards a healthier lifestyle. My weekends now include ventures up to the mountains walking the trails like I envisioned. I just took that first step, that’s all it was. Simple. Easy. Affordable.
After three months, I was ready to see if I still had it in me: jogging. I would take on the Couch to 5K challenge! But that’s another story…
Omron HJ-112 Digital Pocket Pedometer