In the spirit of celebrating milestones, I’ve put together a list of 15 things K and I learned by taking daily walks together over the past five months. We concluded our walking streak on Saturday with day 150.
Hopefully, you’ll appreciate these lessons and can apply those that speak to you to your own fitness routine.
- Almost everything can wait for an hour or two. (Scooter, our cat, would like me to clarify that this does not include his dinner, which he would prefer to receive earlier, rather than later.)
- Exercising in a variety of weather conditions builds character. Rain or shine, windy or snowy, walking daily — regardless of the weather — helps to improve your resilience…and, especially on rough-weather days, helps you appreciate coming home a bit more.
- From beautiful, vibrant flowers to amazing sunsets, there are always things to appreciate in nature, if only you take the time to slow down and look.
- Each walk can be a new adventure; exploring new streets and traveling through multiple cities on foot is a wonderful way to learn about your own community and neighboring areas.
- A good pair of shoes goes a long way. Walking for three or four miles a day quickly adds up to a significant amount of mileage.
- Walking is a great time to take stock of what’s working and what isn’t working, without the pressure of needing to immediately figure out a solution.
- Walking is also a good time to vent — and it helps to leave those worries outside when the walk is over.
- Planning while walking is time well spent. Whether it’s planning dinner or talking through a reorganization project, the execution of the plan seems to go more smoothly when you’ve thought it through and discussed any potential stumbling blocks.
- Walking gives you the ability to get more done in your day by boosting your energy level.
- If you’re feeling a little foggy or distracted, taking a walk can increase your mental clarity and help you focus.
- If you’re feeling stressed or trying to work through a problem, walking can help you to take a break and/or distance yourself from the problem, even if only temporarily. Sometimes it’s easier to solve a problem after taking a walk because your brain has been working on the solution while you were moving.
- If you are feeling down or discouraged, walking can lift your spirits and provide a better understanding of what you can and can’t control (e.g., what is and what isn’t your problem to solve).
- Making a game out of crossing the street can make dodging people more fun, while also increasing the distance you travel.
- Sometimes the hardest part of the walk is lacing up your shoes and getting out the door. (Sometimes this may be the easiest part of the walk.)
- Having a snack before your walk can prevent hanger later. Also, bringing water is a good idea — you never know how long you might wish to walk on a beautiful day.
Anecdotally, as we’ve begun to transition back into regular running together, we’ve been pleased to find that we’ve maintained our cardiovascular fitness. (This was the original goal when we started walking in March.) After five months away from running, K has been able to transition back into running three to four miles at a time without missing a beat. This is definitely worth celebrating, especially since his preference has been treadmill running, rather than running outside.
Whether it’s walking most days, strength training a few times each week, or aiming for consistency with another activity, what fitness goals are you setting for yourself and what milestones can you celebrate?
It’s easy to get caught up in the pursuit of one goal after another, without stopping to appreciate the progress that you’ve made along the way.
Celebrating your wins — big or small — is highly recommended. Honoring your ability to do what you set out to do can give you a sense of accomplishment and provide momentum to continue raising the bar, if you choose. When you reach a milestone, consider using the moment as an opportunity to pause and evaluate your future direction. Perhaps you are content to continue along your path or maybe you wish to adjust your selected target.
Whatever you decide with regard to your future, relish your moments of achievement. When you reach each milestone, you’ve earned the opportunity to celebrate!