SINCE the start of September last week – with the aim of clocking 10,000 steps each day of the month to raise funds for and awareness of cerebral palsy – I am now dividing my fitness life into two eras.
There was BP, that is before pedometer, and now there is PP, post pedometer.
And what I can report is this: I have always been one to write down the training sessions I do, particularly the ones I really like so I can do them again and again, and I have always had a stop watch or now a fancy sports watch that tells me how far I have run, and what pace I am running at, and I am sure it does a heap of other things I do not even know about.
The watch cost a fortune and probably for the price should also tie my shoelaces, wipe the sweat off my brow as I run and prepare me a post-run replenishing juice.
So the significance of having a pedometer to track my daily step outage was not that exciting ... until, that is, I put it on for the first time.
Now, I am hooked.
I find myself eagerly checking to see how many steps each event throughout the day is clocking and am very motivated to not only reach the required 10,000 steps a day but also surpass it.
Late run to school in blistering time = 2000 steps. Walk across school to get a customary late note = 400 steps. Walk to the coffee shop for a much-needed caffeine boost after another stressful late run to school = 1000 steps. Walk along the beach for 45 minutes = 7500 steps. Hang the washing on the line = 100 steps. Hang another load of washing on the line = another 100 steps. Do the grocery shopping = 3000 steps. 30-minute stair and hill run workout = 5000 steps. Vacuuming house = 500 steps. Walk the baby around the house singing to her to get her to sleep at night = 350 steps.
The first day I was only up to 4000 steps by mid-afternoon so I thought I would take the kids for a long walk, and before I knew it I had clocked another 6000 steps and along the way rediscovered a love for walking I developed out of necessity when our first child was a baby.
I had never been a fan of walking – why would you walk anywhere when you could run and get there twice as quickly?
But pushing the little bloke around in the pram for an hour or two every day became my link to the outside world and was the base for regaining my pre-baby fitness level.
Walking seems such a simple thing to do but the benefits are great and it is a low-impact way to improve your cardiovascular fitness.
It is a fantastic way to start moving if you are looking to kickstart your personal spring clean.
And I definitely recommend getting a pedometer to make yourself accountable each day.
It is a wonderful and simple way totrack your daily progress and alsoto set yourself daily targets.
So, weeks one and two of spring workouts: Set yourself some daily step goals.
I would love to hear how some other people are clocking up 10,000 steps each day too, so send them through.
Renee Valentine is a qualified personal trainer and mother of three