Are you up for a challenge?
I’m throwing the gauntlet down and dared myself to conduct a 30-day walking challenge. For 30 consecutive days I must walk 10,000 steps a day for a combined 300,000 steps. I’m started Thursday. You pick your day.
Overachievers – you know who you are – who decide to exceed 10,000 steps can use excess steps to reduce the next day’s goal or used to exceed the 300,000 step goal. A desire to perform better or achieve more success than is expected should be applauded and recognized. Kudos.
Personally, I’m not an overachiever, or at least I don’t believe I am. My goal will be to reach 10,000 steps each day. I can be very competitive, but this challenge is more individual. The only person you fight is yourself by battling the excuses we all use to not exercise – I’m too tired; I don’t have time; I can’t afford a gym membership; I need to be motivated; I don’t like to exercise alone; I get bored.
If you’re looking for reasons to exercise, you’ll find them. The opposite is also true. If you’re looking for reasons not to exercise, you’ll find them. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if resisting the urge to exercise burned as many calories as actually exercising?
However, if you feel it helps, unleash your competitive side by challenging a friend or family member to do this with you. See which one of you can best the other over 30 days. Go for it!
While some have more sophisticated technology, I use a simple pedometer. It probably costs less than $5 and does the job quite well. Then, keep a log of the day and how many steps taken.
An average person’s stride is approximately 2.1 to 2.5 feet. That means that it takes over 2,000 steps to walk one mile, and 10,000 steps would be almost five miles. Walking five miles a day is pretty impressive for most people, myself included.
Every competition needs an incentive. Here’s mine: For every 10,000 steps that I’m under the combined goal of 300,000, I pledge to donate $2 to a charity. Yes, it’s an incentive, but no, it’s not a huge amount. If I sit on the couch for 30 days – which I will not – it will cost me $60.
If I reach my goal of 300,000 steps, I’m going to take that $60 and treat myself. Probably new shoes. Walking that many steps in a month will probably wear a pair out.
I tested the waters beforehand. If I walk 30 minutes in the morning and 30 minutes in the evening, my daily routine makes up the remainder of what I need to take 10,000 steps. Not too bad. And, if I keep my calorie consumption at the same level, I should lose 2-3 pounds just in time for the food-eating holiday called Thanksgiving.
I ask again, are you up for a challenge? If so, join me in this. Email me updates of your progress.
Standard reporter Lisa Hobbs can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org