In going back to basics, I’m making an effort to move more. This includes getting up out of my desk chair and walking around my work building several times a day. And I don’t just mean walking up front to say hi to the receptionist, I mean really making a point to walk.
My one coworker told me that eleven laps around the main interior hallway (we’re a big square) is roughly one mile. I downloaded a free pedometer app for my phone and while it’s nothing fancy and is way off in terms of mileage (I think it uses GPS and our building has dead spots with poor reception) it seems to be fairly accurate for steps. As in 2000 steps roughly equals one mile and that’s just about how many steps it takes me to go eleven laps around the building. I also walk enough outside to know how long an average mile takes me to walk and everything is adding up enough that I’m good with using the eleven laps as a measure of distance. (That being said, I’m also considering buying a FitBit, too.)
Somewhere along the way, 10,000 steps became this big magical mystical number that everybody should aspire to walk each day. Originating in Japan, it has in the past decade or so gained popularity among the media, fitness groups, doctors and, of course, pedometer manufacturers. Me? Yeah, nowhere near that. Certainly not on a workday when I spend 90% of my day in an office chair. So over the past few days I’ve been getting up every few hours and walking eleven laps.
Alright, so if 2000 steps equals one mile that means 10,000 steps equals five miles. Easy-peasy. I mean, hello, I just ran five miles a few weeks ago. How hard can walking it be? Especially when spread out over the course of a work day?
Honestly? It’s really fucking hard work.
Running five miles with the attitude of a race and there being a finish line is completely different than making a deliberate effort to walk five miles for no other reason than to walk five miles. There’s no prize at the end here. No reward except the notion of a job well done. And five miles? Five miles is a long way to walk, especially when you’re doing it in circles.
I knew I work kept me sedentary but I never fully appreciated just how much I sit until I started to walk and, honestly, I haven’t yet reached walking five miles a day around the building because it does take so much effort and my body isn’t used to it. I mean, sure, I run a few miles once or twice a week but working up to walking multiple miles several days in a row requires building up my mileage. It’s essentially just another form of training not unlike working up to running a 10K or half-marathon or really running any new, longer distance. You aren’t going to go go from not running at all to running a marathon overnight so it’s silly to think you can just go from not walking to walking five miles everyday.
Thursday was my first day with this and I did 4000 steps, so 2 miles. Monday was 6000 steps/3 miles and yesterday I did 7000 steps which translated to roughly 3 1/2 miles. Slowly but surely I’ll get up to those 10,000 steps and be rocking five miles although I’m not sure I’ll be able to do it everyday. Not because I physically can’t but because, hi, I’m at work and have, y’know, worky things to do.
But I’ll get there eventually. And on the days when I can’t walk as much as I’d like, even walking just one mile is better than not walking at all, right?
What are some of your favorite ways to keep active at the office?
Love from the ashes,