November 2: 10,000 Steps
However, I knew if I started a rigorous routine I would give up in a matter of weeks. I wanted this routine to be a life-long discipline. The adoption of 10,000 steps-a-day has helped me achieve this goal.
I began after graduation, May 24th, and as is typical for me, I was a bit compulsive. I used a fitbit to monitor every. single. step. I dared not miss a day for fear I would fail for life.
But over the last six months I have leveled out. I have foregone the fitbit, only using my internal monitor. I strive to take a brisk 3-mile walk most mornings, and the basset joins me for an afternoon stroll. Everyday tasks and errands easily make-up the remaining steps.
Interestingly, I have noticed several benefits from this daily exercise.
- My metabolism has increased. I feel my heart rate is stronger and I do, in fact, have more energy.
- My diet has improved. I find that I think before I eat. I drink more water, try to consume fruits and vegetables, and attempt to cut back on carbs. I am not on a diet, per se, just more mindful.
- As a result, my tummy is flatter and I have lost about six pounds. Again, this was never a focus, just a nice benefit.
- The basset is far more docile. For 30 minutes a day I allow him to be a basset. He leads me on the walk, not the other way around. He is allowed to sniff as many fire hydrants, street signs, and lamp posts as he desires. He can walk as fast or as slow as he wants. And when we return home, he is content to sit with us on the couch and chill.
- Walking clears my mind. I find vague ideas become realities, problems find solutions, and worries are put in proper perspective. The mental fog that accompanies workaholism is lifted.
Of course there are days that I fall short of the mark, and as the weather turns colder, I have to “force” myself to go outside. But I now know that the long-term benefits of 10,000 steps far outweigh the short-term inconveniences.
I am grateful to have found a healthy life-style that I can embrace for years… decades to come.