It’s been almost two years since I started walking 10,000 steps a day to try to get back in shape. In those twenty months I’ve been covering the 4-5 miles five days a week and have now covered almost 4,000,000 miles. That’s approximately 2,000 miles. If I keep it up I’ll reach five million steps by the two year mark in April. It’s amazing how quickly it adds up and it takes a lot less time in the day than I originally thought it would. I feel fitter and stronger and I find that the walking provides a great chance to think and unwind during the day. I’ll often take a short walk when I’m stuck on a problem or feeling a little burned out and I find that it energizes me almost as much as grabbing a soda.
I’m now 25 pounds lighter than I was this time last year and I feel stronger and fitter as a result. The benefits extend further than I first imagined though. I find I’m depressed less often and that I get a lot less anxious at the end of a work day. Taking the time to walk and unwind allows some of the stress from the day to disperse instead of bundling it all into for the ride home. I’m able to start an evening fresh instead of grinding on the tribulations of the day for two hours when I first get home. This in turn promotes a healthier life schedule at night, better eating habits, and a higher likelihood of being in the mood to exercise the next day.
Not feeling like a big fat knacker helps a lot too. I’m incredibly vein when it comes to my weight and appearance (I think secretly we all are) but I had no idea what an effect it would have on my happiness to lose a pant size or two and see less belly and more bicep. I no longer get winded walking uphill or a steep flight of stairs and the walks now are something I look forward to instead of a chore. It’s been a lot of effort to get here and there were days when I just wanted to sit in a corner and cry, but now that I’m here I feel energized and alive. Exercising, for me, is like a turbo-system in a car in that it takes a while to get going but then feeds its own momentum moving forward. This is the first Christmas in three years that I’ve entered feeling good about the year that preceded and confident that my New Year’s resolutions will be more like reaffirmations.