Standing at school assembly on the final day before school holidays clouds forming and temperature dropping and I’m stepping. That’s okay, people think I’m just keeping warm, not my aim but it’s an added bonus. I am in fact keeping moving and working towards my personal stepper goal of 12000 steps a day.
Pulling up to the shops I check my old thought patterns and habits, turn the car around and park at the back of the lot. An extra 1 minute from my day but a whole lot of steps achieved.
Walking in to school to collect kids rather than cut across the lawns I follow the longest path, the increased pace makes up for any time loss besides what’s an extra few minutes taken now and added on my life!
At the end of the evening I check doors, turn off the lights, check the kids are still disappearing under warm blankets and do the many more closing down chores that only a mother seems to know are a must-do for peaceful sleep to arrive. Only rather than sluggishly dragging myself through the house I march briskly around knowing once done I’ve won. Day conquered, fitness goal achieved and I deserve the hot shower and collapse into the depth of the lounge for some ‘lazy’ reward ME time.
Every opportunity that I can find to add in some steps, touch my toes, bend my knees and generally get moving I now grab, the kids find it hilarious to see me bobbing up and down waiting for the microwave to ‘ping’, a few lunges snuck in during a previously lazy moment. Even leaving the car at school after the morning drop off, to briskly walk up the hill to the store for a few items before returning to the car to drive home. The best with that is with a large family a few items is never a few so walking with a pram I’m forced to stick with a ‘few’!
I’ve been guilty of diet marathons, I’ve paid out big dollars on well known methods and immediately on returning to normal eating I returned the kilos. That devastating re-occurring pattern turned into depressed coffee and biscuit dunking, sullen moments.
The best decision I made was to join a women’s only gym and begin to heal emotionally from letting myself down so much, no pressure just simple, slow approach to the start line before setting off on my journey to fitness. A change of thinking, focus on muscle not fat and all else may fall into place, if that’s possible at 45. (Sure I know everything’s heading south, so the less to head south the better, I hope)
The next best thing I did was to buy a step counter. After constantly losing my basic clip on pedometer I purchased a Garmin Vivofit wristband. It keeps me on track, allows me to set daily goals, allows me to see how far into my daily stepping goal I am and also joins me online to a community of steppers and adds in the fun of a challenge. I never realised I was competitive until now! The wristband keeps track and synchronises with the app on my phone or computer.
I’m one of those ‘gonna’ people who bought a treadmill and just couldn’t find the time to use it, now I use it all the time. Even if I’m not in the essential fitness fashion wear I’ll often jump on for a quick 5 or 10 minute WALK, just as though walking to the local corner shop, not that many of those exist anymore! I’m no longer hindered by the mentality that I need the time to change, commit 30 minutes, shower and change. That’s totally impractical in a busy life although after the kids are in bed in the evening I do then check my goal balance, change my outfit to something more comfortable, if you know what I mean and set to reaching or exceeding my day’s fitness goal before I allow myself to switch off for the day, hit the shower and then relax.
So here’s the thing, I’ll never be a super model but I’m feeling great, fitter and happier and I want to encourage you to make the change.
Park further, walk further, feel better.
My encouragement to you is to make the start, if you are admitting you are unfit and your worried about how you can get going the first thing is to stop worrying! Then make the change one step at a time, no stress, no pressure just move at your own pace.
Ways to change daily habits.
- Park at the back of the parking lot and walk further instead of close to the entrance.
- If you are going shopping to a large department store make it a goal to walk at least one lap around the entire store (inside) before you commence the shopping you intended to do. You can look like you’re window shopping you don’t have to power walk. Just be determined not to stop and buy everything you like. I know some larger complexes have walking groups who meet regularly just for that purpose and then they relax over coffee in the food court.
- Choose the longer path not the shorter path.
- Don’t cut corners.
- Before you get in the shower do some knees up steps, even a few is a start. Do the same whenever you are standing around waiting.
- If you are meeting someone and they say they are running five minutes late then reply telling them to arrive and wait for you. Then set off on a brisk walk to fill the time, there and back to see how far. Beats standing around!
After a few days or weeks you’ll be surprised how your thinking changes, surprised at how more wide awake you feel and inspired to beat and eventually increase your goal.
Please share in the comments section if you have other ideas for every day life situations that can be used to increase the steps we take.
My biggest achievement since taking up stepping with the vivofit is I conquered 3x challenges at 65000 steps in 6 days. That has now placed me in a whole new challenge category of 100,000 steps in 6 days, that will teach me for being competitive, or will it. Last night (day 1 of the challenge) I literally crawled into bed after reaching 19,000 steps for the day. Proud of my day’s achievement but admitting the competitive monster inside wants again to WIN this challenge not just achieve it.