I went to the grocery store last week. I’ve been doing the family food shopping and dinner making for a few years now. Ava took care of all that while the kids were young. I wondered if she was ready for a break so I asked and she said yes. She enjoys the freedom of not having that responsibility and I’m enjoying learning new skills.
Last week’s shopping excursion started with me making a list. That was followed by driving to the store, filling the cart with everything on the list (and a few items that weren’t) paying for it all, loading the car, driving home, bringing bags into the house, and putting everything away.
You may have noticed this blog has a new name. For the past year I’ve been doing a 20k One Year Step Challenge. That was at least 20,000 steps every day for a year without a break. I crossed the finish line on August 31. And, for the year I was doing this challenge the blog name, “Goal: 20,000 Steps”, made sense.
But, it also came with a couple problems. The name made it feel like 20k should be everyone’s goal. And, even worse, it made some readers feel bad if their goal was less than 20,000 steps a day. Sadly, people would use the word “only” in telling me their daily step goal…as in, “my goal is only 7,000 steps a day.”
I am so sorry if this blog made you feel your goal is “less than”. If you’re exerting effort to move forward and reach a goal each day it is worthy. No “only” needed.
The Centers for Disease Control, in their 2018 report, recommend we get between 150-300 minutes of physical activity with a moderate intensity. Walking “briskly” is perfect for this. How is briskly defined? The CDC says a walking speed of 3-4 miles an hour. If you go for a 30 minute walk and put between 3000-4000 steps on your Fitbit you are moving “briskly”.
But, even you have fewer steps and your pace is less than brisk there is still a benefit. In this 2018 report, the CDC now says that even short amounts of “light” movement has quantifiable benefits and is certainly better than sitting.
In other words, if you are walking you are engaging in a fitness activity. But, sadly few people think in those terms. They put “exercise” in a different category. They believe it needs to involve a gym, or running, or expensive fitness equipment, or a trainer encouraging them to do MORE!
To be clear…those are all fine fitness activities. The point is that walking is also a perfectly fine fitness activity, but most of us rarely think in those terms.
If you’re walking you are engaged in fitness.
Obviously it takes effort to gain fitness. My goal with this blog is to help reframe a basic activity that you do every day and see fitness as something you can pursue all day long. It’s as simple as setting a daily step goal and gradually increasing your effort.
As I’m putting together my grocery list I’m walking around the kitchen looking for things we need. I park in the back of the parking lot and enjoy a longer walk to the store. After finding a cart without wobbly wheels, I head inside where I walk up and down every single aisle. This is usually what gets me in trouble with “extra” items not on my list. And, since my list is not in order and written using really bad handwriting I inevitably realize near the end I missed an item on the other side of the store. This actually makes me happy…as I re-walk the length of the store.
After the groceries are paid for I have that longer walk back to the car and then return the cart to the cart island which is closer to the building than my car. No worries there. Once home, I carry in no more than two bags at a time. Obviously, this takes several trips from the car into the house. This is good. And, then I put each item away individually walking from the bags on the table to the pantry and back to bags over and over.
For me, grocery shopping is not a task to be accomplished as quickly as possible, but it has become a fitness activity. I probably add at least 2,000 steps to my Fitbit every time I do the shopping.
For many people, sadly, fitness feels so unattainable. There’s too much weight to lose. Too many bad habits to overcome. Fitness options are confusing and cost too much.
And, so, nothing happens. Except, the most basic fitness option and activity is hiding in plain sight. Walking is not a “less than” fitness activity. Walking IS fitness. You can take advantage of it every day!
If you struggle with making fitness stick you can change that today. The 30 Day Fitness Challenge will help you begin building a fitness habit that creates fitness momentum which eventually leads to fitness transformation.
Walking is fitness hiding in plain sight. The 30 Day Fitness Challenge will help you set the perfect Fitbit goal for you. The Challenge includes a contract you can make with yourself. That might sound cheesy, but having a signed piece of paper is a powerful motivator on those days when you just don’t feel like it.
Every day you reach your Fitbit goal is a win. The 30 Day Fitness Challenge includes a Win Tracker to celebrate your progress every day!
Best of all…The 30 Day Fitness Challenge is free!!
If you don’t have a Fitbit I recommend the Fitbit Inspire HR. This is the Fitbit I use to track my 20,000 steps a day. The Inspire HR also tracks your heart rate and sleep so you get an even wider picture of your fitness progress.
(By the way…if you use the link above to but a Fitbit Inspire HR this blog will receive a small commission. It won’t add anything to what you pay, but letting you know is the right thing to do)
Lastly, this blog is designed to help you embrace walking as a fitness activity. It’s sustainable, flexible, effective, and fun. Every week I post new articles with stories and helpful suggestions to Win at Fitness.
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