About two weeks ago my chiropractor told me she wanted me to get more exercise, specifically at least 10-15 minutes every day. I told her I was pretty sure I was getting at least that and more the four days a week I am in the office. I do a LOT of walking at my job, especially when my boss is out. At home it's easy enough to get in a good amount of walking since we live on a fairly big property. My chiropractor asked me to find an app that I could put on my smartphone, she said there are a lot of free ones and report back to her the next week with how many steps I was getting.
I downloaded an app the next day and immediately didn't like using my phone as a pedometer. There are a few reasons. The app that I downloaded was free, and so it wouldn't count my steps unless the screen was active which kills the battery. I don't carry my phone with me every single minute of the day and very often it is charging up so I don't want to unplug it just to take it with me to the ladies room or to grab something off the copy machine. There are a lot of steps I wouldn't be counting if I continued to use that app. My sister really wanted me to get FitBit (Amazon affiliate link) but it was a little expensive for my taste, plus I wasn't even sure if I was going to track my steps for more than a few days.
I decided on an Omron pedometer (Amazon affiliate link) because it had good reviews and I felt the price was affordable. I also ordered batteries and a leash (Amazon affiliate link) to keep it safely attached to me.
The Omron pedometer has to be set up for your stride length in order to correctly track your steps, and you also enter information such as your height and weight.
I noticed a few things right away in using a pedometer which I feel are helping me to get more walking in each day.
No problem, more steps
I have always tried to do things efficiently. I learned in one of my first jobs the benefit of efficiency in movement and steps. Say for example I have to go from my boss' office to mine, I would gather everything I need to take with me in a pile and also anything else that I have to drop off along the way, and I would also stop by the ladies room since it is on the way, grab my lunch from the kitchen, etc. If I forgot something, or had to go back, I would feel annoyed at myself for not remembering. That's not only at work. I get upset any time I have to “go back”. Especially if I have already left home and have to drive back. Or if I buy groceries then get back to the car and realize I forgot something.
However, wearing a pedometer caused me to have a total paradigm shift. “No big deal, more steps!”
Now I find myself embracing these opportunities to “go back” because my steps for the day will increase.
Park farther away from the entrance
My husband and son have done this for years and always try to get me to park farther away from the store entrance. They park farther away because they don't like being so close to everyone else. I don't mind parking right up at the front. Sometimes I drive around the parking lot a few times looking for the closest parking spot, or sometimes even waiting for someone to leave their spot. Not now. Parking farther away is an opportunity for more steps! I guess I'm probably saving time and gasoline by just parking farther away. I used to kind of dread going to Wal-mart because they are so huge but now I think differently, more steps! Just parking farther away from anyplace I go is a way to effortlessly add more steps.
Look for opportunities to walk
So now when I'm at work, I find myself doing what my boss always does. She works on one thing at a time. She then walks that item to wherever it needs to go and goes back to her office. Guess what? She's naturally slender and has even had trouble keeping weight on in her life. I always thought she was, well, I admit, I thought she was wasting time. But since I'm trying to get in as many steps as I can each day, I am doing a similar thing. I mean, there is a point where a person would be wasting time but I'm just not forcing myself to do everything all at once just to save steps, since my goal is to get more!
Set a goal for your steps
A common goal is 10,000 steps each day which equates out to around 5 miles, depending on your personal stride. My goal is 10,000 and most days I get close to 8,000. A couple of weeks ago at the annual summer dance we have at my job I actually ended up with 11,000 steps! My feet were sore and it was neat to know the reason why was because I had taken so many steps. I used to just think my feet were hurting without realizing that was probably because I'd walked more than five miles that day.
Five miles in one day! I feel proud of myself for that!
It seems that most days I get in at least 2 miles and since I began tracking, as many as 5 miles. I am so grateful to be able to walk without pain. When I first started GAPS my feet ached so badly. I can still remember how painful it was, and how I had to wear these horribly ugly men's casual wear shoes. Men's shoes! Yuck! And while my back was “out” I could barely walk. I really would like to get 10,000 steps daily, so I will continue to look for opportunities to get in more steps. Once it cools down here in Arizona in a few months I will probably start walking around the block at my job. I'm sure that will be an easy 1000 steps.
Have you ever worn a pedometer? Do you know how many steps you get in one day?