Celebrating The Walk of Life
Talk the Talk and Walk the Walk with fitbit
The Starting Line
Growing up at the Jersey shore point of Asbury Park had many perks. Walking from my front door and heading any direction for a few blocks brought me to the boardwalk and the Atlantic Ocean (east of my home), a fresh water lake (south of my home) and a beautiful park (west of my home). There was not a time when we were not outside skating on the lake in Winter or swimming in the ocean in the Summer. In the Fall we took on American football in the park and in the Spring we pretended we were big league baseball players - also in the park.
As life goes on, the physical activity seems to dwindle (high school baseball seasons end, football state championships wear off and running cross country does not present the desire to continue as a leisure activity). This leaves only post high school challenges (college sports or military physical training) as a couple of organized ways for the body to get the physical fitness it needs to help maintain a healthy lifestyle. Outside of college and military, there is the discipline of running outside (if you enjoy that sort of thing) or the gym membership (if you enjoy working out with the masses and sharing germ filled exercise equipment) or the home exercise room (if you have the space and can afford the equipment).
That has been the mentality, of the world, until the time when people started walking as a means for physical activity. We used to take leisure walks, hand in hand, around our neighborhood but that was just to get out of the house and take in some fresh air and scenery. We really wanted to find a regular activity where we both could spend time together and stay active.
5k or fitbit Walks in or near Philly
ran or walk
58 min 33 sec
53 min 33 sec
1,000 miles on treadmill
1 million steps with fitbit
20,000 steps in one day
Walking the fitbit Way
Walk a 5k for Exercise, Fun or Health
By the time we were able to afford our own in home exercise equipment there was never time to enjoy the fitness activity. Following several months of stress in 2010 (we had my mother-in-law live with us in the Spring and then my oldest sister passed from cancer that Winter), we sought to use physical activity as a way to deflect the stress while dealing with the little speed bumps, in life, that have a way of surfacing every now and then.
In 2011, I began walking the in home treadmill (the wife ran) to keep active, deflect stress and stay healthy. We continued this running and walking trend several days a week until I reached a milestone of 500 miles walked in 2012. I could not believe that I walked 500 miles with the Proclaimers (music humor) and was thrilled to be on a regular routine. While my wife did not track her mileage, I am certain she reached this plateau much sooner than I.
We also decided to join the Philly Livestrong 5k in 2012 marking the first time we considered a competitive activity. Our first race was in August of 2012 and we both finished the 3.1 mile event. In fact, we felt so good afterwards that we repeated the race in 2013 - I walked both races and the wife ran both. We continued our walk of life through 2013 and had planned on entering the race again in 2014 but we once again were temporarily derailed a bit due to an unanticipated speed bump known as surgery. Following the early Summer surgery, while my wife recovered, I continued the in home treadmill routine.
Mile High or 1,000 Mile Marker
Whether you are in the mile high club (which has nothing to do with walking) or you walk 500 miles, you are getting some activity and that is a good thing. In my case, I kept my treadmill walking routine well through June of 2014. Tracking your exercise routine, like I did since I started the treadmill routine in 2011, has many benefits - you can monitor your blood pressure, your cholesterol and your weight. You can also track the minutes that you performed the activity as well as the miles per session.
Upon reviewing my OpenOffice spreadsheet routine statistics, I realized that I could realistically reach 1,000 miles of treadmill walking. I mentally set the goal to reach this new milestone before August because I knew that we were going away then and I wanted to leave without any thing on my mind. I increased my weekly treadmill walk to five days a week ensuring that I would reach my new walking goal in time. On July 16th, 2014 I reached for the one thousand mile marker and walked across the line - 1,000 miles walking on the treadmill! Reaching this goal was very satisfying to me and it made me more motivated to continue this regular exercise routine. I had become so comfortable with walking and gotten so much into a routine that I decided to stop tracking my progress after reaching the 1,000 mile marker.
Several weeks later when we went to Kohl's to get my wife a new pair of running sneakers, I noticed this strange looking wrist band and watch like device that had nothing but a black band with a small display. As I dove deeper into finding out what this device was, I read fitbit flex on the box. The fitbit flex is a way to measure your exercise routine and track calories, active minutes and miles. Well, I thought, this certainly beats the old spreadsheet method I utilized to track my treadmill progress.
The Finish Line
The way fitbit flex works after the initial charge and setup is pretty simple. You wear it 24 hours a day (including the bath or shower) and it records all steps you take and all active minutes you perform. The package comes with a USB charger and plug in device called a dongle - for laptop use. With the dongle and a piece of software for your laptop or an app with blue tooth enabled for your smart phone you can sync your activity via the fitbit website or the phone app.
Since December, when I received the fitbit as a gift, I am once again driven for yet another walking goal. This time I am shooting for 1 million steps before August 2015. We plan on going away again then and I want to remain in bikini body shape. Actually I am a guy but there is no good phrase for a guy to use for his body so I took the one that I hear women using. Nonetheless, it is not a question of if I reach the million step mark, it is a question of when.
Walking is a simple way to keep yourself active and helpful in maintaining a healthy life style. You do not need the fitbit or a treadmill to walk but these two items certainly have contributed to my routine and I do not see a finish line in site. While I can no longer skate on the lake or swim on the ocean, on a regular basis, I can always walk inside on the treadmill or outside with my fitbit.
Walking is much different in the world today and has brought, to me, a whole new way to exercise, have fun, keep active and maintain my health to help prepare me for the later years.
Where are the most miles you are willing to walk in a single day?
fitbit - The First 1,000,000 Steps
The Fitbit 20,000
How To Walk 1,000 Miles for Exercise, Fun and Good Health
- How To Walk 1,000 Miles for Exercise, Fun and Good Health
I began walking for exercise and weight loss but it turned into a positive life style change.
© 2015 mts1098