Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Walk On By

I'm not really sure why, but I got it in my head a few weeks back that I wanted to buy a pedometer. I guess I had heard that a person should walk 10,000 steps per day in order to maintain a good fitness level. I go to the gym three to four times per week, but my gym opens too late in the morning for Mrs. TBF to go. I thought that walking might be a form of fitness that Mrs. TBF and I can do together (awwwwww!), so I bought us both pedometers at Dick's Sporting Goods when I was in Chicago last week. They were cheap; something like $14.99 each.

I put my pedometer on right after I bought it, and I was fairly surprised to find that I had difficulty walking 10,000 steps per day while I was in Chicago. As a matter of fact, I had a bit of a problem walking over 5,000 steps per day. I think there was one day when I hit 7,000 steps, but that was only because my sister (pushing my frozen, 16-month old niece in the stroller) and I went for a fairly long walk in order for me to "...get in more steps". On most days, I was averaging between 4,000 and 5,000 steps. Granted, I wasn't really making an effort to exercise because I was "...on vacation from doing nothing" as my friend Dave likes to say, but I found it interesting how much less walking I was doing in the "driving society" that America is than I normally do when I'm home in Basel.

Zip ahead a few days, and now I'm back in Basel. As you can see from the picture of my pedometer that I took before going to bed in the wee hours of Tuesday morning, I managed to top 11,000 steps for the day - no problem. The longest walks I made yesterday were to the grocery store (a 7-minute walk) and to the dry cleaners (about a 10-minute walk). Other than those strolls, there was nothing really out of the ordinary.

Right now as I'm writing, I just took a look at my pedometer and I'm happy to report that I'm currently at 10,165 steps which comes out to 4.81 miles. DAMN! Who would'a thunk it?

According to the little booklet that was included with the pedometer, walking...

burns almost as many calories as jogging

slims your waist

lowers blood pressure

lessens anxiety & tension

is easy on your joints (i.e. my "glass" knees)

can be done when you're traveling (i.e. Mrs. TBF)

...just to list a few things.

Hey, maybe I'll go out and buy some of those nordic walking poles, put on a green felt hat, and a dour expression, and...


I'm becoming a SWISSY!!!!


Anonymous said...

I also wear a pedometer and have for a couple of years. By this stage I just do it periodically to make certain I am still walking enough.

In the US I needed to get up at 5:30 am every morning to take a walk of at least an hour before I went to work. Added to the other walking I did throughout the day, I would then reach the 10,000 step minimum.

I'm discovering here that I need not take any extra measures to ensure I get the 10,000 steps in. Just do my errands and take an evening walk about with GLH.

CanadianSwiss said...

I'm always amazed when I go home over the pond and see people take their cars to go across the parking lot to get to the next store on their list.

The Big Finn said...

CS - I remember that we had a party at our house once in the early 90s. It was winter and OUR NEXT-DOOR NEIGHBORS drove the 50 meters or so from their driveway to our driveway because they didn't feel like walking on the ice.

Anonymous said...

I am going to get one of those things. I want to do a baseline on myself and then vow to get at least 11,000 per day.

Anonymous said...

Great idea! I do most of my errands on foot around here so it would be interesting to see how many miles I chalked up in a day.

Nordic walking is all the rage here and if you see those people (mostly women) coming at you you need to get out of the way immediately. They mean business!

The Big Finn said...

TMS - ...then I will do 11,001!

Christina - I was kind of joking when I mentioned buying the nordic walking poles. However, now that I've actually read the info on the website, buying them doesn't seem like such a bad idea. You really burn a lot more calories using the poles than you do when just plain old walking.

Bobby The C said...

again, i came up as anonymous. WTF!!!!? I shall do 11002

Unknown said...

Hmmm... Yes I think Europe rocks for walking... I loved that.. It's so easy...