I Will Walk 500 Miles…Or at Least 10,000 Steps

I’ve always been a walker — and I don’t mean the Walking Dead kind. Yet, after relocating from an incredibly walking-friendly place, New York City, to sunny south Florida, I found myself walking less. After all, instead of walking–or half running–to catch the subway every morning or clocking in miles on foot on a daily basis, my car was now doing the heavy lifting. The distances between places, as is the case with countless cities across the country, is simply too vast to navigate on foot. Unless one desires to spend the whole day walking.

So I found my daily steps dwindling rapidly. During the notorious hot summer months of last year, for example, I walked barely 2000 steps on average. According to studies, an average American’s step count is roughly between 5,000-7,000 steps, about half of the so-called recommended 10,000-steps-a-day mantra espoused by the health community. The fact that I was now more of a couch potato didn’t quite bother me, until a shoulder injury changed everything. 

After a rotator cuff injury derailed me a month ago, I found my activity becoming more limited, and that meant saying goodbye to regular gym sessions that required any range of motion. Looking for ways to keep active, I started to view walking as a more engaging activity, rather than something that was a mere passive necessity. 

What was the result? The more I walked, the more I wanted to keep going. I liked the way I was able to clear my mind and recharge creatively. Walking also helped break up my mostly sedentary lifestyle in a (literally) uplifting way. I’ve started frequenting parks, getting to know my neighborhood even better, and taking advantage of the beautiful spring weather. The added advantage? When it was time to sit down and actually have a meal, I’d think twice about my choices. Because when you treat walking as a way to stay in shape, you become more conscious about eating better and more mindfully. 

And if you want to get more tips on how to incorporate more walking into your daily routine, check out What You Should Know About The 10,000 Steps-a-Day Goal and Feet in the Clouds, Head on the Ground!