In Dec of 2018, I had my first 30 day streak with 6,000-10,000 steps per day. At the time, I thought: 30 wasn’t bad, lets do 60!
In early Feb of 2019, I had my first 60 day streak with 6,000-10,000 steps per day. So I thought : 60 wasn’t bad, lets do 100!
In late March of 2019, I had my first 100 day streak with 6,000-10,000 steps per day. And in April, it hit 123 days, with no sign of stopping.
Odd as it may sound, by lunch time I can usually feel if I’m going to be short on steps or not And by evening time, I’ll start figuring out what needs to be done to keep the streak alive for the day. Being mindful of the situation has kept me on the streak and developing habits based around hitting my numbers has made it much easier.
Why, pray tell, did I embark upon this journey in the first place? What changes did I make? And what did I learn along the way?
In 2014, research was coming out that suggested office inactivity was leading to poor cardiovascular health, diminished mobility, and an overall poor quality of health. Then when I first started tracking my steps, my average was usually around 1800 per day. (Which included a quarter mile walk from the car to the desk.) Despite being an avid triathlete and training aggressively on the weekends, I was as lethargic and lifeless as an office drone can be during the work week. Sure, a couple of hours per week I was active. But 40+ hour each week, I was slouching motionless in front of glaring screens. I knew it wasn’t sustainable and took steps to remove myself from that situation.
Huge, disorienting jump in the narrative…
Once I abandoned cube life, I started making subtle changes. I use a standing desk. If I don’t move from one place within 25 min, my watch rudely buzzes and displays WALK! (I usually don’t ignore it.) Weather permitting, I try to circle my block in my neighborhood around lunch time. And when my daily training doesn’t include a run on the street or the trail, my time in the gym includes a metabolic conditioning portion with walking or even sprinting elements. In short, movement is sprinkled throughout my day and my habits have grown around hitting 6,000 – 10,000 without much conscious planning.
I like to think walking so much has conditioning my muscular and energy systems to support significant distances with only minimal effort or discomfort. Plus, when I’m walking outside, I feel much more engaged in the world. My cognition feels easier, clearer. I’m able to mentally chew on problems more aggressively or brainstorm ideas more creatively.
Bottom line, for me, walking up-regulates my physical and mental processes far more than when I’m just sitting. I’m performing better on daily duties. My metabolism is working at a more active state. And I think my efforts are creating a more healthy overall state for me. Minor victories? I’ll take them!
Will I make it through a 200 Day Streak? 500? 1000? I don’t know. But I’m going to keep trying. One day at a time.