Ok, not wanting to hit the topic of why you should be walking, we all know why and that we need to. Some people may be a little tired of hearing the same speial over and over again, just like we are all getting tired of seeing those political ads on out Tv’s every day.
But unlike the political ads that will be over next week, on election day, walking and getting yourself fit can be a part of your life for your whole life. We all know that magic number of 10,000 steps is a good start to getting your body into a fitness routine, but there are other benefits as well. But did you ever wonder what would happen if you doubled that magic number and tried to hit 20,000 steps per day?
Most people who joined the 10,000 step movement purchased some kind of activity tracker to keep track of their daily steps. There are many to choose from but the one tracker that everyone knows about is probably the Fitbit line. We like the new Fitbit Charge 2 It not only tracks your steps and monitors your heart rate with the new Pure Pulse feature but since your looking to exceed your normal goal, you can actually compete against yourself with the ‘Ghost” feature that acts as your mirror competitive self. This is a great way to keep you in tune with your new goal of possibly walking that extra 10,000 steps per day.
The reason I’m saying that you can do this is easier for someone like myself that lives in a city environment. It’s a lot easier for me to walk everywhere I want to go, to work, the stores, movies, and theaters. But if you don’t live in this type of metropolis you can still conquer that goal by just getting outside and doing it. You already know how much you need to walk to reach that 10,000 step goal so you also know what you need to do to increase it. If you walk in the morning like I do, then set your alarm clock to wake you up about 45 mins early so that you can get an extra mile or two in on top of your regular morning walking circuit. This may seem like a big sacrifice to you, especially if you’re not a morning person. But if you think back on when you first started your morning walking routine it was not easy then either. But after 2-3 weeks of sticking to it, you became accustomed to the morning ritual. You will too with this extra walking circuit. If you adopt this type of attitude throughout your day your going to be hitting that 20,000 step per day goal before you know it.
Besides getting yourself in super shape like I said previously there are other benefits of doing this. You’re actually going to feel like you have a lot more energy. I found that I got more done in less time.
Have you ever rolled your eyes at the idea of exercising as a cure for fatigue? I have, even though I've seen lots of evidence that exercising can actually increase your energy levels. There's just something counterintuitive about doing a tiring activity to help you feel less tired.
Well, after trying this extra steps challenge, I'm no longer a skeptic. I quickly discovered that the more I pushed my body physically, the easier it was to focus. Even though I had to spend more time walking and working out during this challenge, I was able to accomplish more than usual. I crossed work assignments off my to-do list like it was nothing. I ran errands that I'd been putting off for weeks. If you’re a coffee person, you may find yourself NOT needing that 2pm pick-me-up cup of coffee. By walking those extra steps throughout the day, more so around your lunch break the endorphins should still be kicking in around that 2-3pm period of the day when everyone else is looking for a caffeine or sugar high.
Another big benefit to all of this is your sleep routine. You may have trouble now falling asleep, or once you fall asleep you get up throughout the night. Like me, you will find by increasing the amount of walking you’re doing, and if you add some wrist weights or ankle weights as well you're really giving your body a good workout throughout the day. So think about it, by the end of the day, your body is tired. But tired in a good way, you’re going to know that you worked yourself more and that being tired is a good thing. I know when I did this I went to be earlier but slept right through the night and actually found myself getting up earlier than I was used to. Know what I did when I woke up early?? Yep, I went out for an early morning run to limber up before I went for my usual morning walk. I used that walk as my “slow down” routine before I got ready to start my work day. My energy levels really shot up and I felt a lot better for it.
But this challenge really solidified for me that exercising doesn't have to be a defined event. After a week of logging approximately 70 miles, as opposed to my standard 35, and no additional gym time, I felt fitter than I had in months. Starting each day with a goal to be more active, and fitting in steps whenever possible, can quite literally really add up.
Now that I know I can do it. I can go back to my regular routine of 10,000 steps a day and feel comfortable with it. But from now on, I am going to re-challenge myself to once every two or three months of working in a 20,000 step workup. I’m using it as my motivational challenge, just to remind myself that I can do this and who knows, maybe I’ll end up increasing this challenge to once a month instead.