At this point in my life walking is more than just a nice thing to do now. It is vital to my continued health, strength and well being. It is the one thing that every other goal rests on to be successful. If everything else falls on the way-side, this activity must continue.
And I have had several false starts this year in trying to get back into the walking habit. Something always gets in way. In the past is was my plantar faciitis - foot pain that was so severe that it required prescription orthotics and expensive walking shoes to fix. Lately it has been the weather (hot, hot, hot), and then it has been all the dog-sitting I have been doing - leaving a puppy that is not potty trained is just a bad thing, and then most times I am just too tired - and on and on and on the excuses go.
Having someone provide inspiration - someone who somewhat mirrors the stage of your life and your age is important. In my knitting group there is a woman whose story has motivated me to get serious about walking. She has been walking every day for years and years and years. She walks in the morning, she walks 5 or 6 miles and she is fit and slender and happy. She shared that she was once overweight and out of shape and that walking (and reasonable size food portions) is the main reason for her current state of health. I recently found out she has a blog where she talks about her walks. So simple. She is approximately my age but could pass for 20 years younger. She is an inspiration. I kept thinking ... I could do this same thing. So this week I began getting up early to walk - getting out early gets the walk out of the way for the day, misses the heat, and takes advantage of having some energy to begin the day. Yes, sometimes I do have to get up early to squeeze the walk into my morning ... but in all other regards it is the perfect time. My short term goal for the next few months is to continue to walk 5-6 days a week - for 30 to 45 minutes a day to build up my legs and energy so that when the fall comes I can really crank up the miles. I realize that 30-45 minutes (at a rate of 2.8-3.0 miles) a day is already a decent time for someone who is 63 years old and has recently been inactive - but I have always been blessed with decent physical stamina and so doing that time is not really a stretch for me, but doing it 5-6 times a week is a stretch. I am shooting for a goal of 5 miles a day 5-6 days a week.
Some of the tools I use to keep my interest up are: I wear a pedometer during walks so I can track my steps and so that I can figure the miles walked. And I log my efforts in a website called MapMyRun.com - on an activity calendar. This web site offers the option of forming groups and creating maps that can give you the mileage of your run or walk. You can also log other types of activities, such as sports or yoga ... Very good site. Another site I have used in the past is WalkerTracker.com. This site is designed for folks who wear their pedometer all day to log steps, to make blog entries, and to track progress though charts and grids ... there are also groups you can at this site ... and there are competitions you can join that are also great fun. The competitions are based on numbers of steps taken, and ways to increase those numbers over past history. Sometimes there are prizes and sometimes the prize is just having everyone in your competition know who the winner was. I haven't been wearing my pedometer the whole day but may start doing so again after I have established a walking routine. Both sites are free and both have premium paid levels of membership.
And I think on this blog as a tool to keep me moving forward towards this goal. Although I haven't shared this blog with anyone yet, I probably will at some point. And having the commitment to goals in writing for family and friends to see ... is a help in keeping on task.
And so walking tops my list.