Keeping Up the Steps

So far I’ve been doing well with steps this month. I’m averaging 7939 steps per day so far which is above my goal for this month:

Weekly steps

And, yet, it has been a struggle. Take Monday. The day ended up fine. I walked 8851 steps, which was good.

5-5 steps

And, yet, it was just this close that I might not have gotten over 3000 steps. A big issue for me is the weather. It is starting get to a point where the combination of heat and humidity makes it unpleasant for me to talk. I don’t tolerate heat or cold very well.

Last year, soon after I got my Fitbit in March we started walking outside a lot. Our neighborhood is great for walking as it is quite hilly so even walking at relatively low speeds is challenging:

Hilly roads

We were doing great last April. I was eating well, losing weight, and walking. Then, in late April the heat and humidity hit. By early May we were done with walking. This is also the time of year that tends to be dangerous for weight loss. My birthday is in late April, my son’s birthday is 8 days later and then Mother’s Day follows quickly. I usually start out navigating these fairly well, but by the end of the gauntlet, it is easy to be off track.

Last year, I did…OK….with the eating, mostly OK. But, the sudden lack of activity with us stopping walking didn’t help. And, with stopping the walking, I seemed to use that as an excuse to stop eating carefully. And, while I couldn’t walk outside, I could have been using my Concept2 rower at home. I also started eating out more, buying more junky snacks. Well. By August I had gained 10 pounds.

I did realize then that I needed to do better. And, we went and bought a treadmill so we could walk indoors when the weather wasn’t good. For most of the fall I used it sporadically. I kept intending to use it more but I wasn’t consistent. Then, when the weather got cooler we walked again. And, since the beginning of this year I was able to mostly walk outside (except when my allergies or knee didn’t cooperate). And, I would fill in with the treadmill.

I built a treadmill desk and was ready to start using it to supplement fitness walks so I could get in more steps and burn a few more calories. But, then the knee was bothering me so I took off from the treadmill. And then it was spring and we could walk outside. When I saw the doctor a couple of weeks ago for the knee, he said it was fine to walk so we’ve been doing a lot of walking.

But, now, it is getting to the point where I think there will be few opportunities to walk outside. It was a bit cool last week so we walked a lot. Sunday, though, it was over 90 so I knew I needed to walk on the treadmill. I have no excuse not to do it. For fitness walking where I’m walking at higher speed, I can keep from being bored by watching TV. My DVR is 96% full with lots of Chopped episodes to watch. And, I can also do some slower walking using my treadmill desk where I have my notebook computer set up on it. I did manage to get in an hour’s walk on Sunday. I did it in 2 sessions. I did 30 minutes at a moderate intensity, then I rested for about 15 minutes. I then continued on for another half hour.

Then, Monday got here. It was sort of a lazy day. I was at home all day and was doing a lot of reading and watching Love It or List It on HGTV (I don’t watch much TV but was fascinated by this show). Now, this was in the same room as the treadmill so it would have been really easy to hop on the treadmill. But, I didn’t. I kept thinking I should, but didn’t. I kept wondering if I could justify taking a day off. But, I like to do at least 3 days before I take a day off. I had taken Friday off, so I really didn’t think I should take the day off. Yet, I couldn’t seem to get motivated to get on the treadmill that was 2 feet away.

Then, about 6:30 my husband came in and asked me if I wanted to walk outside. It was on 83 degrees with 41% humidity so I decided it was just tolerable, particularly since there was a little bit of a breeze out. Also, the sun was lower so it wasn’t too bad. So, we went for a walk that was just over an hour long and according to my heart rate monitor burned 368 calories. And, it added about 6900 steps to the days step count. Yes, without that walk I would have walked under 2000 steps for the day!

What was interesting to me was that the walk was nice and I enjoyed it and it wasn’t tedious at all. But, I know I would have struggled to get through the time on the treadmill all in one go. I find that on the treadmill I do much better walking for 30 minutes or so and then taking a break of at least 15 minutes and then doing some more walking. I know that a big part of it is just that the time passes so much more quickly when I’m walking with my husband and we can chat. We’ve sometimes had one of us on the treadmill while the other rows (both are in our bedroom). But, our schedules don’t always mesh to do that. Or, if we both want to use the treadmill, then that doesn’t work either.

In the end, I was glad that I went ahead and did the walk. And, it reminds me that this is a time of year where I need to really be vigilant to stay focused.


  1. says

    You have a Fitbit that you use that monitors your steps? Evidently you like that. Excuse my ignorance but is this something that you wear on your wrist? I ask because I bought myself a pedometer and I will admit it is uncomfortable no matter where I place it on the waist of my slacks. When I sit it pushes into me and is not pleasant. A friend has a Fibit and it is on her wrist, I believe and even monitors her sleep patterns??? She is not one to share the in’s and out’s with me so I am turning to you for some information on it. Maybe some time you could do a post on the Fitbit??? You write so well by the way!

    • Kitty says

      Thanks. And that’s a good idea on the Fitbit. I should follow up on it. I think I’ll go do that!

  2. says

    Being able to watch tv on the treadmill is the only thing that keeps me on it. LOL Like you, I need a break at 30 minutes. Not for fatigue, but just the sameness of the movement.

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