I am trying to get into the habit of a daily walk. I have signed up for a team walking challenge in work and I am currently attached to my fitbit while I count my steps feverishly for the month of October. I thought if I could do 10,000 steps daily I would be knocking it out of the park but alas some days I realise I am well short of my 10,000 step goal. Its not that I don’t like walking, in fact I find it fabulous for clearing my head or as my mother says ‘cleaning the plaque’. This time last year, with time on my hands, I walked all the time, however I’ve noticed of late that I am struggling to fit it in.
I know from experience, that its best if I fall out of bed in the morning and no matter how disheveled I look, open the front door and put one foot in front of the other. Sooner or later, my body wakes up and I start to appreciate the morning light as I amble along quiet neighborhood streets. Its hard though to stay disciplined, some mornings I just want to breathe on my yoga mat, other mornings I am racing around trying to find a pair of matching heels. And I certainly don’t like walking when I feeling time pressurized, for me it kind of defeats the purpose.
Earlier this year, I started walking at lunchtime. Less about breaking a sweat but more about ensuring I have a pair of flats and given Irish weather a pair of shades or an umbrella. I now know the four corners of Merrion Square as a regular and feel like I have seen the passing of seasonal changes within its confines. Sometimes I walk alone and sometimes colleagues join me for a walking meeting. I like to think it helps me process information from the morning and freshen up my mind for the afternoon, given that walking is said to improve blood circulation to the brain.
As a last resort, walking in the cool evening air offers a different sensory experience from the daily grind. The trees seem stiller, quieter and almost subdued. The air is scented from the day and there tends to be strollers rather than power walkers later in the evening. I don’t always want to leave the warmth of the house, but if my blessed fitbit is alerting me to my sedentary day, then I really don’t have much choice. Nietzche said that ‘All truly great thoughts are conceived while walking’ and I find walking at the end of the day allows me to connect with my thoughts.
One thing is for sure, if 10,000 steps is the goal, it can only be achieved by actually including a scheduled walk every day for about 45 minutes. That and more stair climbing, plus plenty of jumping up and down to get things and ultimately having your fitbit surgically attached to your wrist from morning to night to capture every last step! Not such a bad thing though – given the benefits of more activity and a calmer mind.