I woke up this morning a little after 6a. After 14 years of an alarm going off before 3a, I’m really liking this new schedule. I’ve rarely used an alarm since leaving the morning show last December. It’s a beautiful thing!
I rolled out of bed and started the coffee maker. While that was brewing, I grabbed my bag to load in the needed items…a coffee cup, two protein bars, my iPhone, sunglasses, ball cap, headphones, and a notebook. Once the coffee was ready, I poured it into my insulated bottle, filled another bottle with water and headed for my bike.
My bike is a single speed cruiser with a large basket on the back. In that basket I placed my bag and a really cool chair that folds into a small carrying case. That chair and my bag fit tightly into the basket. I like that they can’t easily bounce out.
I hopped on my bike and headed down the street. I left the neighborhood using a concrete walkway that is attached to a paved trail along the lake behind our neighborhood. By the way…I saw my first South Carolina alligator in that lake three days ago. It’s almost five feet long. The alligator, that is, not the trail.
That trail connects to a street that I crossed to get on another paved trail around a larger lake. I rode along that for about a mile before turning right onto a street that eventually runs behind a shopping center which is across the street from the state park.
I rode into the park while reaching behind me for the yellow annual pass I had tucked into a side pocket of my bag. That pass allowed me to ride past the guard towards my destination…the beach.
I put my bike in the rack and locked it up. With my bag and chair I walked onto the beach and found a nice spot at the water’s edge. It was a beautifully sunny morning that was already heating up. I love hot summer days at the beach. Although, I wasn’t spending the entire day here…just an hour or so.
I set up my chair, sat down, and poured a cup of coffee into my mug. After eating the protein bars I got up and started walking towards the pier about a mile away. Even after reaching the pier I kept on going. It just felt that great. But, I had a meeting this morning, and I had to make sure I was home for that so I turned around.
Back at the chair I poured a little more coffee and soaked in this summer morning. Before I left for home on the bike, I rode through the campground in the park. I love the smell of bacon as people were starting their day. I didn’t want to leave, but now had little margin to return home in time for my meeting.
And, all of that was possible because I enjoy walking.
This is one of the hidden benefits of walking for fitness. Yes, consistent moderate level physical activity lowers the risk for some serious diseases. And, that’s a great benefit. Exercise also strengthens your body, lowers stress, and improves your brain function. All great benefits too.
But, walking for exercise has another benefit too. Simply put, the more you walk…the more you want to walk. In other words…walking for exercise both increases your capacity to move more and your desire to move more.
Last week, I wrote about rediscovering your exercise motivation. Exercise is hard. Getting started is hard. Keeping it going is even harder. But, the result of sticking with it is exercise momentum. I wrote last week, that when you have that momentum, it’s actually harder to stop than it is to get started. That’s a really great thing.
As your capacity and desire increase you’ll begin to discover a world of activities you may have never considered or even wanted to do.
People love going to the beach. But, how do they feel about riding a bike three miles to get there and then walking a couple miles once you’re there? The love is not as great for that. Unless, you’ve got fitness momentum and the bike ride and long walk are the most enjoyable parts.
Imagine all the activities that you would enjoy with a greater capacity and desire to move more. Are there activities your children and grandchildren do that are difficult for you because your fitness capacity isn’t there yet. What about activities with friends? Or even, joining a group that is built around fitness and the new relationships that can develop from there.
And, then there are all the possible future memories that can result from a more active life. I’ve written before about one of my favorite travel memories in Venice, Italy. I had just a short period of time to walk from the train station on one side to the iconic St. Mark’s Cathedral on the other side. I had to walk fast to get there and back before the last train left the station for the night. It was exhilarating and fun! It was also possible because I had the fitness capacity and desire to make it happen.
What about you? No matter where your fitness level is right now, dream a bit? How could your life become even more enjoyable with greater activity opportunities.
It all starts with walking. You can use your walking every day to create a fitness habit which over time can lead to fitness momentum. That momentum can open the door to a world full of opportunities and adventure.
You can get started today with The 30 Day Walking Challenge. This free guide has three different levels. Pick the level that best suits where you are right now and get started.
If you don’t have a Fitbit I recommend the Fitbit Inspire 2! The Inspire 2 has double the battery life, and also tracks your heart rate and sleep so you get an even wider picture of your fitness progress. This is also the Fitbit I use to track my steps every day!
(By the way…if you use the link above to buy a Fitbit Inspire 2 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)
I also recommend subscribing to this blog for weekly encouragement and motivation. Establishing and maintaining a fitness habit is not easy. Receiving a regular article to help you keep moving forward might be the difference maker you need. To subscribe simply click FOLLOW (to the right on your desktop…at the bottom on your phone) and you’ll get a link sent to you as soon as each new article is posted.