Walk in Her Shoes – 4 weeks to go

Now I have my new phone, I can sync my Fitbit to my phone (the app doesn’t have the sync feature on an iPhone 4) and the Runkeeper app works properly so I can track my walks. It also has this cool feature where you can set it to track walks if you walk for 15 minutes or more without actually telling it you’re walking.

Cool or creepy?

I know tracking steps and walks and distances isn’t for everyone, but competitive me likes to keep track of this kind of stuff so I can challenge myself to do better, walk faster or further. And I like the little buzz of my Fitbit when I reach my step goal for the day. It’s like giving myself a little cheer for getting there. I know, small things . . .

It’s only 4 more weeks until the start of the CARE Australia Walk in Her Shoes challenge, and my training is in full swing.

One of my regular walks
One of my regular walks

I decided to do 20,000 steps a day again this year. It’s a target that will challenge me, but it’s one that I know I can achieve in normal circumstances. However . . . as I like to compete with myself, competitive me would really like to top my total step count from last year, which was 183,214 steps. That’s a little over 26,000 steps a day. That’s going above and beyond ‘normal’ circumstances, but competitive me doesn’t care. Competitive me wants to beat that. So I’ve set a ‘stretch goal’ for myself. If I reach 20,000 steps relatively easily in any day, I’ll aim for 25,000 steps that day. Maybe more. I’ll take it one day at a time.

This week’s target is 17,000 steps per day. Yesterday I did 22,749 steps. Mondays are usually my biggest walking days, so it’s all downhill from here.

CARE Australia referred to an interesting stat last week. They cited research that shows the average Australian only walks 3.2 km per day – the equivalent of 4,000 steps. CARE said that the World Health Organisation and other health authorities recommend that people take 10,000 steps per day (equivalent to 7.62 km) ‘to improve general health and reduce the risk of chronic disease’.

At first the 4,000 figure surprised me. I had no idea people walked so little. But when I thought a bit more about it and thought about how many steps I’d been doing before I started deliberately trying to increase mine, I thought it was probably right. On days I wasn’t walking to or from work, if I didn’t actually go for a walk some time during the day, my step count would be well below 10,000 and some days below even 5,000.

Now that I’m regularly doing more than 15,000 steps a day, I’ve started to consider that walking at least 10,000 is pretty normal and not that hard to do. It’s the absolute minimum I expect of myself if I end up with one of those days when I can’t walk much. The figures that CARE quoted have made me realise how far I’ve come since I started taking notice of my steps.

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