I decided to start walking every day on February 10th, 2020. Today being March 13th, 2020, I’ve been walking every day for just over a month.
I don’t quite remember why I decided to start walking every day. Or how I decided that it’s something I can do. But maybe it’s that cliche line: “I got sick and tired of being sick and tired.”
Beginning my “Habit”
Whatever the reason, I decided that day, dug out my Fitbit from the closet, bought a small planner as a habit tracker, and began walking. I figured if I got in 2 miles a day eventually, it’ll be one good thing I’m doing to help my health.
It began with finding a suitable path. I explored my neighborhood, looking for a route that isn’t confusing (I get lost very easily), and not a pain to walk every day. Preferably, in a circle so that I don’t have to go around the same place over and over again.
In the first few days, my feet blistered, ankles ached, and toes lost their feeling. I was walking 1 hour a day. Sometimes, I got two 1 hour walks in. But every time I had a 2-walk-day, I was completely exhausted and wiped out the next day.
It’s interesting how when you go from no exercise, just walking for an hour really is pretty hefty exercise! We don’t give walking enough credit, honestly!
- Week 1: 2~3 miles/day
- Week 2~3: 3 miles/day
- Week 4: 5 miles/day ⬅️
3 Miles a Day
After a week, I found a suitable 3 mile route that does a circle to bring me home after one hour. So for two weeks, I went out on that 3 mile route every day, burning 350~400 calories every time.
5 Miles a Day
I began exploring another route after a while, and ended up putting together the previous route with this one, ending up with a 5 mile route. I wasn’t sure if I would even be able to do this many miles every morning, but surprisingly, it didn’t feel that much longer at all.
Since March 3rd, I’ve been walking 5 miles a day, which takes me around an hour and a half. It burns around 450~500 calories a walk.
So today, while listening to “The Happiness of Pursuit” by Chris Guillebeau, I decided that I should incorporate little “Quests” into my life for the things I wanted to achieve. And an hour ago, I had the ridiculous idea of making one of them “Walk 10 miles a day.”
Goal: 10 Miles a Day
It’s going to take time, as I add 1 mile at a time. My feet are still at the stage where they start hurting at around 4 miles. So the last mile is me fighting feet pain. But I’d imagine, after another week or so, that will go away.
I’m assuming, since 5 miles takes 1.5 hours now, 10 miles will take me 3 hours. Though maybe by then, my mile will be much faster, and I could make it in around 2 and a half hours.
I uploaded a video about my Habit Building process, and how I “trick” myself into making new healthy habits, based on Gretchen Rubin‘s “Four Tendencies” outlined in her book, “Better than Before.”
- Better than Before (Gretchen Rubin)
- Four Tendencies Quiz (Free!)
I’m already amazed at how for the first few weeks, just THINKING about having to go out and walk was exhausting and stressful. I had to drag myself out every time, and sometimes it took until later in the afternoon to make it out.
Now, it’s just part of my morning. I wake up, drink my milk tea, check my e-mails and messages, and go. And I’ve been waking up earlier and earlier, and feeling good about it, too! Despite the fact that last Sunday was “Daylight Savings” (in the WRONG way!), I’ve been consistently waking up between 6 and 7 am, and able to just hit the ground running the moment I wake up.
This was NEVER a thing, as mornings have always been extremely difficult for me. I am so used to feeling like I’ve been hit by a bus when I wake up that I’m having a hard time coming to terms with this new morning routine.
Just thinking about walking 2 miles was exhausting and stressful a month ago. Now, I walk 5 miles, am done in an hour and a half, and it’s like I never even exercised, energy wise.
As you can see in my planner, I did take one day off. I took last Saturday off, because I fell ill and spent 3 days and nights sleeping. Now, I’m a little worried that I’m coming back down with something again. But I hope to continue walking, even if it’s not 5 miles, unless something drastic happens…. Like I get quarantined for the Coronavirus ?
My goal, and rule of thumb is… It’s okay to “break the chain,” but never let it be two days in a row! I’m the kind of person who sees a lot of things in black and white, so when a streak is happening, I’m good and motivated, but the moment something goes wrong, I get dejected.
Hopefully, by using the “miss only one day” rule, I’ll be able to keep it going! Last Saturday was a good test to see if I’ll be demotivated (to be honest, I WAS demotivated after that, and picking the 5 miles back up after just one day off was hard!!). Thankfully, I’m still trucking on!
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