I guess the day after Christmas is as good a time as any day of the year to hit one’s annual fitness goal. Today marks the day that I’ve reached 4,000,000 steps since New Year’s Day.
Health and fitness were one of 8 areas I outlined for focus following my retirement on April Fool’s Day. My goal was to reach 12,000 steps a day and I have surpassed that by averaging 12,400. That’s an 88% improvement over my pre-retirement average of 6,600 a day, so it has been quite a change.
Not every month was perfectly smooth – I reached over 14,000 steps a day in July when we were on vacation in Japan and doing a lot of touring. My low was 9,100 steps a month in November when I was sick for a few days and didn’t do anything at all.
Most interesting is the number of different activities that I was able to engage in to run the score up. My ‘base plan’ is a walk/run on the treadmill in the morning. I record the 7am NBC Today show – because I generally sleep into 8:30am nowadays – and watch the morning news / catch up on emails for 30-45-60 minutes. Sometimes longer.
Most days, though, I don’t go on the treadmill at all. There are plenty of things to do outside of the house that ensure I get my steps maxed out. Playing tennis, playing golf, working in the yard, being involved in a curling league, or simply out running errands. Life is certainly a lot more active when you aren’t sitting in meetings all day.
Despite buying a new bike last year, I didn’t do a lot of biking. Additionally, I should note that I did wrench my back golfing early in the summer and started developing tennis elbow in September. Those aggravations seem to have gone away with more exercise. That said, my goal to get into 5K run shape was put to the back burner when I hurt my back. Probably time to get started again.
The great thing about being early retired is that it has been so relatively easy to make the time for more activity in my day. One thing I notice is that wherever I am, I have plenty of time and motivation to take an extra lap around the mall, campus, neighborhood, or park. As little as 500 extra steps an hour doubles the activity I was getting when I was working.
Hope you had a wonderful holiday weekend and best wishes for reaching your 2016 fitness goals before the end of the week (or developing new ones for 2017)!
Image Credit: Pixabay