Yes, I’ve been neglecting this blog for a week or two. This has happened for various reasons, but probably the biggest is that I have been working really hard at trying to get a little fitter, because I have become far too fat and lazy and this is not helping my blood pressure.
So, I have bought myself a pedometer, and I have spent the last seven days checking just how many steps I take each day. Of course, being me, I didn’t do this until I’d already made some improvements in my level of activity by taking to the treadmill and the iJoyRide again, so that I wouldn’t have to face just how bad I’d got.
The reason I decided to get the pedometer was this: I joined a Facebook group composed of greyhound people who wanted to get fit and/or lose weight and through this group I learned of an initiative called ’10,000 Steps A Day’.
Yeah. That does seem rather a lot, doesn’t it? It was with some trepidation that I clipped the pedometer to my belt on that first morning, I can tell you.
So what did I discover?
Well, for a start, it pays to have a dry run so you can find the best position for your pedometer, because depending where you clip it, it will give a more (or a less) accurate step count. I found that the best place for me was just in front of my right side belt loop. You can check by taking 20 steps and then looking to see what the display says. If it says ’30′, that’s all very encouraging, but it is Not Right, and for your own good you should move it. If it says ’12′, you don’t need me to tell you to move it. When it actually says ’20′ after you’ve taken 20 steps, you have it in the correct position. There. I’m sure you all feel better now.
Having done all that, I went about my first day. This involved an iJoyRide session of 15 minutes followed by the treadmill for 25 minutes, and two separate dog walks plus the usual stuff. Walking around in the house, driving to, and walking around, the shops, etc. And at the end of the day, lo and behold, I had done 9,980 steps! On my very first day!! I was stunned, amazed, and extremely pleased with myself.
For the rest of the week, I kept track assiduously, and I have to tell you that just having it sitting there on my belt made me very conscious of how much walking I was doing. Or not doing. By the evening, if it didn’t look as if I was going to make 10,000 steps, I found myself making excuses to go upstairs for something, or hopping from foot to foot while stirring a saucepan or waiting for the kettle to boil. See? These things work!
Dog walking helps, too!
The result of the first week was interesting. Two days under 10,000 steps (one a disgraceful 9,620), three days over 10,000, one at nearly 11,000 and one – amazingly – at 11,342!
So where do I go from here? Well, I will keep wearing the thing until I’m fairly sure I know what level of activity I need to carry on walking those 10,000 steps a day, and then I suppose the plan would be to clip it on every week or so, just to check that I am doing OK. It would be nice to think I could increase the number of steps, but realistically, I’m not sure how soon I’m going to be able to do that. What I’d like to do is get fit enough by October to walk down to the bottom of Bryce Canyon and back up to the top again.
Think I’m going to be able to manage that?
There are many sites which have information about the 10,000 steps a day challenge. This one is from our own semi-beloved NHS, but you can find others with a simple Google search. It’s a great start for unfit people, because it’s attainable and gives you a great sense of Doing Something.
Now, just before I go, this blog is going to be moved to a new host during the next day or so. The address will stay the same, but it’s likely to disappear for a short time. If you drop by and it’s not here, or it looks funny, please do come back in a day or two when everything should be sorted out. ‘Kay?