Mark Zuckerberg has decided to challenge himself to run 365 miles this year. It seems like a big challenge, until you realize he is only challenging himself to run an average of 1 mile per day – which seems like a very reasonable goal.
(You can read more about his challenge at https://www.facebook.com/zuck/posts/10102579357179331)
I am psyched to accept this challenge, but I am not quite ready to run yet, so instead of running I will challenge myself to walk at least 365 miles this year. I feel like this is a very achievable goal. For me one great way to track my progress is using my fit bit. My daughter got me a fit bit last Christmas, but after I broke my ankle I didn’t use it very much. I am ready to get walking so I dug my fit bit out of the drawer and got started.
I am enjoying using the fit bit, and it really does keep me on track. I have tried to make some simple changes to increase my daily steps. When the weather cooperates, I have enjoyed walking the dog, even if its only a short walk around the block. I have tried to park further away when going to the store. I look for opportunities to walk just a few more steps than I normally would each day. On some days, I reach my daily steps by walking in place in front of the TV if I have to (this works especially well while watching episodes of Biggest Loser).
1 mile is actually easily attainable – I have managed to reach more than a mile each day in January, so I increased my goal to 5,000 steps, which is slightly over 2 miles per day, and I am really excited to announce that I have been able to meet that goal so far. As my ankle gets stronger I hope to reach 10,000 steps per day.
I realize that walking is not for everyone, but I know that getting active is really important for my health. If you aren’t motivated to do this alone, perhaps you can find some friends to walk with. One of my favorite authors, Claire Cook wrote a wonderful story about three women who began walking together, The Wildwater Walking Club
In that book the women set a goal for their walking, and they rewarded themselves with a trip when they reached their goal. That sounds like a great idea to me. I know that Zuckerberg wants us to run 365 miles, so a goal of walking that far seems like a good start, but walking 1 mile per day has actually been pretty easy to accomplish, and my husband always says I am an overachiever, so I have decided to make a very aspirational goal, and I have always been fascinated with the idea of hiking the Appalachian Trail so I want to walk the equivalent of the length of the Appalachian Trail, 2185.9 miles. I don’t know if I will be able to accomplish the whole trail this year, but it makes for a really fun goal. I found a list of mileage for each of the hiking stops along the trail, and I printed my list out. As I walk I will see how far along the trail I have gotten. I may even try to get an actual trail map and move a pin along the trail as I make progress.
Walking my way through the AT will also be a great way to walk my way to better health and fitness.
Here's to a healthy 2016!