The New Year is well underway, and I’m sitting back and reflecting upon my biggest 2012 accomplishment, one million steps. These are steps that were taken above and beyond my normal daily efforts, steps that were taken for the sole purpose of their health benefits, or so I thought. Let me tell you how I did it.
First off, understand this, I hate to exercise. I’m a busy person with dozens of hobbies, and I don’t think I can even remember a time when I was bored, so the biggest challenge I faced when setting this goal was keeping my interest level engaged. That’s why I decided to try and find a way to combine exercise and travel, something I enjoy that I don’t get to do as much as I might like. Since my budget didn’t allow me to fly off to a new location each day and walk around seeing the sights, I had to get creative.
I decided to use a recumbent stepper as my vehicle of choice (www.nustep.com). Although I also have a treadmill and there is always the great outdoors, the NuStep seemed like a great way to go to take a million steps with low impact. The NuStep also has ski poles so I’d be able to get a full-body workout while taking my steps. I don’t have to remember to pocket my pedometer because it counts for me. And the good people at NuStep provided a conversion for steps to miles.
In order to keep my interest level engaged, I decided to track the number of miles I was stepping and plot it out on a map using www.runningmap.com. Each week I’d total up my miles, and put them on the map, and discover what all I had “seen” on my “travels.” Google is great for learning about places you find on a map!
2012 Walking Map
My first destination was, Fallingwater in rural southwestern Pennsylvania, a house designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. I’ve long admired this beautiful house, and would love to visit it someday.
When I left Fallingwater, I headed out to Kentuck Knob, another Frank Lloyd Wright home in the vicinity. What the heck? I was in the neighborhood, right? From there I started off in the direction of Washington, DC. Since it was an election year, I thought it might be fun to witness all the hoopla from inside the beltway. And while I was there I managed to take in the National Air and Space Museum.
The year ended with me making my way east toward the mid-Atlantic coast, where I’m still stepping around today!
Another tool I used to keep myself stepping, was social media. I tried to regularly post my mileage on Facebook. Friends are amazingly supportive and will help hold you accountable as well.
The really cool thing is that I started all of this for the sole purpose of health benefits, but what I gained was so much more. Along with the cardio benefits, I gained some knowledge about rural America, read up on some sights along the way, and found out that friends don’t have to be nearby to be outstandingly supportive people. Perhaps the most wonderful outcome of all this is that there is at least one person out there making tracks of their own now, and a couple more that are thinking about it. It’s great to have inspired others, but even better…that inspires me to keep going.
It’s 2013 and 1.1 million steps here I come!