Like most people, I was averaging around 3-4,000 steps a day so figuring out how to double that count on a daily basis took some work. I had to figure out each day’s strategy based on what was happening with that day.
- Is it raining outside?
- Is it going to be super dark outside and do I want to walk in the super dark (as opposed to regular dark)
- Do I have a number of meetings during the day that would require me to walk from building to building?
- Do I have meetings at night that would interfere with my getting in my full steps?
In the end, what worked for me was a combination of setting incentives for myself and finding a way to weave walking into the natural course of my day. Here’s what worked for me:
- I began using my membership to the YMCA to walk on their treadmills. I am an off-the-chart “E” on the Myer’s Briggs test (ENFJ) and being around people — even if I’m not talking to them — just naturally boosts my spirit.
- I learned that if you want to take more steps, you have to walk more. I know. Seems obvious. It was a revelation to me. I have the amazing luck to work in a beautiful area in downtown Boston (see the image with this post… how beautiful is that? Good job, Boston), and realized that I could take an extra 10 min at lunch when running to get a sandwich to explore a few blocks. Exploring is code word for getting steps in.
- I changed a little-used, very small, guest room in our house into a room for the treadmill that had been sitting in the garage. I’m also very inspired by how my surroundings look, so I took a long time in figuring out how to decorate the room. “Long time figuring out” is code for “hours walking around Ikea” which also got me more steps. Ikea is a great place to get in steps.
- I became hooked on binge-watching Scandal on Netflix while walking on the treadmill. I only allow myself to watch Scandal if I’m also on the treadmill. For me, Scandal is code for “steps”. Scandal is also just amazing.
- And. This is the biggest one for me… but I started walking while taking conference calls at night to APAC. For whatever reason in my job, I end up talking to colleagues in Asia quite a bit. And. You might not know this, but they are on a whooooole different time zone over there that frequently requires conversations to happen at around 8 or 9 or 10 pm. I got in nearly 6,000 steps one night while talking through a situation. And by moving while talking, I felt much more “on” in talking through everything even late at night following a long day of work.
It wasn’t easy. In the end, there were 3-4 days that I just did not get in the 8,000 steps. Mostly those were days I was especially stressed or tired and just could not push myself through.
There are going to be days like that.
But there are also days when you feel great. So I made up for the “lost” steps on the days that I felt great — clocking close to 12,000k steps on a few of those days to make up for the slow days.
So that was October. 8k steps a day. Because it turns out I respond to a challenge, my November challenge to myself is to do 8k steps a day AND to do four classes at the Y in four weeks. Four in four.
It won’t be easy. November is Thanksgiving which is never kind to exercise. It’s also the month we lose an hour, it gets super dark (not just regular dark) and I’m scheduled to travel in the middle of the month.
But I’m going to figure it out.