I signed up for Country Walking magazine's Walk 1000 miles challenge in January & I am amazed at just how far I can walk in a day. Now I would love to only need to count the steps/miles outside of work but I seriously doubt I would achieve the goal so I count everything! I use a Fitbit clipped onto my bra as work is "bare below the elbows" in clinical areas which I don't go into very often but I don't always wear bottoms or dresses with pockets on which to clip a pedometer so this seemed like a good choice. The only time I haven't worn it was two weekends ago when I was ill in bed for two days. It seems as accurate as the app on my phone seems to be.
I consciously walk a little extra most days subject to time & to a degree weather - if it is absolutely tipping it down I miss the lunchtime 10 minutes and/or the after tea walk the dog around the block. Dillon the Dobermann doesn't like the rain either.
Lunchtime is a ten minute walk around the site at work. I tend to do this at a brisk pace & shrug the shoulders, concentrate on the breathing & hope to feel refreshed for the rest of the day. It seems to work. The later dog walk is a more relaxed affair, slower as dear Dillon likes to stop & sniff on this walk when I want to keep moving.
This set me thinking what I use the time on these walks for. I wondered if I should be more active on the evening walk or was the slower pace & consequent time for reflection as good for me as the brisk lunchtime walk?
I've now tried both & have decided for now that both are equally beneficial! The only thing I have been hoping for is a better nights sleep due to more fresh air & exercise but sad to say that hasn't happened as yet. I don't sleep well & the sleep monitoring function on the Fitbit seems to reflect this. But the other benefits of walking are doing me good, even if I can't see the results yet.
One thing I do know is that I won't be giving up the extra walking anytime soon, I enjoy it.
I've always walked the dog at weekends anyway & that distance can vary from a couple of miles to six or seven, again weather dependant to a degree, & on Sundays I am with a friend I've known for over thirty years. We just know & understand each other & love to walk. It's our time to put our world to rights & simply just "be". You can't put a price on this friendship. Oh & our dogs love the open air!
Now there is another walking challenge I'm joining - work has started one this week & I'm hoping to increase the motivation to do more & maybe get my head around the amount of unnecessary food I put in my mouth. I actually eat fairly healthily during the day but evenings are my downfall along with the occasional cake at work when I'm feeling stressed. I have to change my thinking here.
So why the walking challenges? Walking is good for the soul & the body. It's a simple habit to form & the benefits outweigh every negative. Physically, emotionally & mentally it clears & refreshes the body in my view. Positivity is improved & I hope to become a better person all round by the end of the year!
Will I give up the occasional glass of wine, gin or very rare takeaway? No! Life's too short to give up things that give me pleasure. Will I be more mindful about what I do in every part of my life? Yes I think I will & I think walking more is going to help me in every way - it gives me time to think, to clear my mind, to walk off that cake, not to mention exercise the dog!!
Oh & I'll crank out some extra miles next weekend when I'm a volunteer road/traffic marshall for Kendal Festival of Food. Two loves in one weekend!