Last month I tried to get outside and walk or bike every day. During May, Sarah and I went to Moab and Midway, UT to spend some time in the great outdoors and I went to a writing retreat in Capitol Reef National Park. These were all amazing opportunities to spend much more time outside walking, hiking and enjoying the beautiful landscape.
Overall I averaged about 2 miles/3500 steps every day. This is by no means amazing and I wish I could have gotten outside more often. I also only biked a handful of times, which is a lot less than I hoped for.
The biggest obstacles I faced were work and school. By the time I got home from work and school I was usually exhausted and wanted to make dinner and just sit around and veg out. It took a lot of motivation to get up and get going. It’s also difficult to get motivated to get outside when I’m trapped in a cubicle inside all day.
Despite not getting out on a walk every day and facing a lack of motivation to get up and get walking, I do think I improved a lot. I found an app that reminds me every hour to get up and walk. When it would vibrate I would save my work on my computer and then go walk around our office building once or twice. This is a huge improvement over previous months where I would usually stay inside for the entire eight hours I was at work.
We all know by now that sitting for long periods of time can be detrimental to our health and well-being. So I challenge you (and myself) to get up and take short walks while you’re working (outside, if you can). Make sure you’re moving your amazing body. Get the blood pumping to your brain and extremities.
I noticed that when I would take walks or go for a bike ride, my stress and headaches would almost entirely disappear. I used to get tired at work with a headache around 1 or 2, but if I take a couple short walks throughout the day I feel fine until it’s time to go home at 5. My back doesn’t get sore as much, I feel less stressed and get fewer headaches.
The thing that worked the best for me was the constant reminders throughout the day to get up and walk. It also helps a ton if you have someone to walk, bike or run with you. It’s tough getting out on your own but a buddy makes it so much easier and he or she can keep you accountable.
Going forward, Sarah and I are going to get outside on more evening walks around our neighborhood and we are going to start taking longer bike rides (long for us is more than 3 miles) on the weekends. It’s getting warmer here in Utah and the crazy spring weather is finally calming down so we don’t have to worry about random rain or snow storms anymore (fingers crossed).
June is my last month of focusing on physical fitness habits. I hope that you’ve learned something valuable from the experiments I’ve done or at least learned from my mistakes and shortcomings. Every month I’m reminded how difficult some changes can be. I’m also reminded why I’m doing this: to learn from my mistakes and successes in order to figure out what works and what doesn’t in order to improve my life in small and simple ways.