Kind of tickled with myself today.
I had been thinking about putting a step counting app on my phone. I learned, not too long ago, that my sister has one. So when we do our photo safari's we not only enjoy our time together and take some great photos, but we also get exercise. And what's more...we know exactly how much exercise we got! Very Cool!
But I'm not always with Joy. Sometimes I'm out there hiking on my own. Or walking with Tim. And, well, it's just nice to know. It makes me feel very virtuous. It's a " Wow..look at that! " feeling at the end of a long day that felt, otherwise, unproductive.
It's not the first time I "counted steps" actually.
The first time it was an actual pedometer. It was way way back when I worked in the Oncology department of a hospital. It was a very busy place and I flew around there all day long like I had wings on my feet. I would be going from patient room to patient room, then to the lab, then to radiology, then back to my desk, then to the records department, oh wait, special order for the patient so I gotta stop by the kitchen and beg, then drop something off at administration, then back to my desk, printing isn't working - dang! Gotta run around the building looking for one that does work and repeat. It was all day, every day.
One of our drug reps was watching me zoom around while he was waiting for his meeting with the doctors one day and he asked me how many miles I put on my shoes each day. I just chuckled and shrugged and kept going. The next time he came in, he gave me a cute little fancy wrapped up box. "For me?? I was touched and surprised. When I opened the gift I saw that it was a pedometer. I had never seen one before. He showed me how to use it so I clipped it onto my trouser pocket and kept going.
I wore it every day for a week. As it turns out, I walked a little more than 5 miles every day at work. Just at work. Not at home or at play or at anything else. Just at work.
The next time step counting came up in my life was in Colorado. My friend Marsha and I would walk after work almost every day. It was just a wonderful way to spend time together yakyakyaking, to work off some steam on a bad day, to get some exercise if it was a day of too much sitting, and we both looked forward to it every day. Almosty every week, Monday through Friday we were out there, talking a walk. And no that's not a typo. At some point Marsha got some exercise step counting thing and we quickly learned that we averaged five miles each walk. That seems to be my number. 5 miles. And in Colorado that means 5 miles up and down hills. Not on a flat level plain, no. Hills, my friends, walking hills, sometimes fairly steep ones. Sometimes those hills are killer but it's good for the butt. And if I had a really bad day working those hills helped chill me out.
And now we live here in Florida and I'm still a walker. It's a lot flatter here for sure but it's still walking so it counts! Up until now, we have been estimating how far our various walks are but of course we didn't know for sure. So at some point this past Sunday evening, I went into the little shopping thingie on my phone and found a free (of course!) Step Counting App and loaded it up.
It was easy to set up. It just asked for some very straight forward information: Gender, Age, Height and Weight. And then it told me that my goal was 6000 steps a day. Which was interesting because I always thought the universal goal was 10,000 steps a day. Not complaining understand, just curious. But okay.
I was kind of curious to find out the step truth, so Monday I slipped my phone into my back pocket and just did my usual Monday stuff. Monday is normally a big get it done kind of day. Lots of laundry and cleaning and errands and sometimes some yard work. Tim was crazy busy and didn't have time for our usual noon walk so I did a smaller version of it myself. Not the full circle but at least I got out there and did a little something. At the end of the day I appeared to have walked 7053 steps. which was, something like 2 1/2 miles I think. Ok I exceeded the goal the App set for me. But I was not impressed with myself.
It turns out that for me the hardest part of using a step counting phone app is remembering to put the phone in my pocket every single time I walked anywhere. Occasionally I had to take it out of my pocket to sit down (for instance to write the blog) and then I would forget to put it back in my pocket when I got back up. Sometimes I forgot for a few hours. Ooops. Well it's a new thing.
Yesterday we went on Photo Safari (I will write that up for you tomorrow!). I made certain that the phone was in my back pocket! At the end of the day I had doubled my Monday steps. Yup. Doubled. Crazy! 14,288 steps!~ And that's around 5.5 miles. See? There is that number again. Apparently 5 miles is my kind of miles;) Coolio!
So my thought is that I will try to remember to put my phone in my pocket every single day for a couple of weeks (Try being the operative word). And because obviously the total will be different every day. At the end of each week I will average the number of steps. And then I will know roughly, the kind of walking exercise I am actually getting.
And in the future, when my doctor looks at me with exasperation and says, "Do you get any exercise at all?", instead of weakly protesting that I take two pilates classes a week and walk nearly everywhere I go and he gives me that look that is so very dubious I can now say, "Well doc, I walk an average of (however many) miles each day" and I can say it with confidence.
New day, new miles. I guess I will find out how many!
Yup, this is me. Some people said, "Sam, you should write a Blog". "Well, there's a thought", I thought to myself. And so here it is.