Week 9 26/2/17 – 4/3/17

This past week I have not managed to push my stats to where I would have liked them to be, instead of hitting between 55000 and 60000 this week, I have fallen slightly behind (and also fallen back on last weeks step total) to 48771 total steps for the week.  This is still not too bad, I’m hitting over 50% of the average recommended daily steps and hitting 6967 as an overall average.  I have not managed to get out at lunch times, the weather for the past week has not been too great, cold and wet, which has seen me take soup for lunch to work and put me off of going out at lunch times.

This week I am hoping to hit a step average of 7200 per day, any more will be a bonus!

How did you do last week?  What are your aims this week?

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Week 8 -9/2/17 – 25/2/17

Last week I said that I would like to push my average steps to around 9500 steps, I didn’t manage that but nearly maintained the steps I took hitting a grand total of 55133.  I’m not too unhappy about that figure as maintaining is better than being lots under.  Saturday and Sunday are still my most inactive days and I really do need to work at this to get these days to at least 5000 steps, doing this will see a huge improvement on my overall stats.  My best day was Tuesday where I hit 11064 steps though I don’t really know how I managed that as I can’t remember doing anything different to any other day!

This week I am going to try and maintain my steps to anything between 55000 and 60000.  Anything more will be a bonus!  And I will try and get out at lunch time for a walk too!

How did you do this week?  What are your goals for this week?

Week In Review – Week 5 -29/1/17 -4/2/17

My weekly stats are still improving, this week I have taken a total of 42178 steps, an average of 6025 a day which is really not that far off my goal of 10000 steps per day!  I didn’t quite hit the target I was hoping for of 7000 steps a day but getting close isn’t so bad and I am really pleased that I have improved on last weeks step total and am hoping to continue moving my stats in the right direction.  Yesterday (Saturday) was my best day for steps and I achieved a total of 11031 without really trying or thinking about it too much, this was probably down to good weather and going out for a walk from my house to the local sorting office to pick up a parcel with Roxy, and then later my partner and I went to a local town for a walk around and some food out.

This week I am aiming to reach or better 7000 steps a day and by this time next week I hope to be reporting that I have bettered my weekly stats again!

What are your goals for the week?  Did you improve on last weeks stats?

Week In Review – Week 4 -22/1/17 -28/1/17

Well, I did it!  I beat last weeks stat total of 33249 and hit a new weekly personal best of 40492, an average of 5785 steps a day.  I’m slowly easing myself back into the swing of things and while I’m still not where I want to be I’m glad that I am making a progress of sorts step wise and moving in the right direction!  I have spoken about having an appointment with the Dr on Friday in last weeks Week In Review post, and have a low functioning thyroid so have been prescribed Thyroxine which should help with my tiredness and energy levels – I started taking them yesterday so we will see how they help.

This week I am aiming to average around 7000 steps each day (I managed 2 days last week of nearly 8000 steps) which should be achievable!  I think that the evenings getting lighter will help me to achieve this as I can take Roxy out for a bit longer when I get home from work now as I seem to have more evening now that has started happening!

What are your walking plans for the week?  What goals are you setting yourself?  And what have you achieved this past week?

Week In Review – Week 3 – 15/1/17 – 21/1/17

Last week I said that I didn’t mind how many steps I did in the week so long as I beat last weeks 33249 steps.  This week I have taken a grand total of 38445 steps so I did manage to do something good!  I’m still no where near where I would like to be step count wise but its a start!  Ive averaged 5492 steps per day which is over half my daily step allowance (I’m aiming for 10,000 steps per day!) I’m still struggling with lack of energy and feeling tired but I have an appointment with the dr on friday so will hopefully get my thyroid problems sorted which will have a knock on effect on energy and tiredness!

This week, again, I am hoping to beat this weeks steps and, keeping to a realistic goal, I’m going to aim for 40,000, hopefully this will be not too difficult to achieve!

What is your goal for the week?

Look Back to 2016

December’s stats were probably some of the worst that I have recorded since I started monitoring my steps per day.  I took a total of 186688 steps, this works out at an average of 6022 steps per day.  I hit 10,000 steps or over on 2 days this month, one of the days I totaled 14429 steps and the other 11877.  A lot of factors contributed to not achieving 10000 steps a day, or at least averaging that, the weather was one –  it was cold and wet, raining the majority of lunch times which meant I skipped a lot of my lunch time walks, then it was dark when I got home from work which impacted on Roxy and my evening stroll and our regular walking routes (the street and path lighting isn’t that good on our regular routes), couple all of that with not fully shaking off the cold I had in November and it’s not surprising that my stats slipped so low.  Christmas and time off from work also played a part in my average steps, over the Christmas break I was off work, we had family coming round and staying, or we were visiting family, and not really being as active as normal as sitting and spending time with family is more important.

I have enjoyed the past few months of being more aware of my steps and activity levels but I have also learned that it is ok to let them slip a bit for more important things (like spending time with friends and family) and I don’t think that in the darker months of the year that you should risk your health and safety to hit your target steps.  However I am keen to get back into walking at lunch times now I am back in work just to get the numbers back up a bit, after all, any activity is better than none (and I have a couple of pounds to loose from the Christmas festivities!).

It can be hard to get back to a walking routine, there are so many excuses your mind can make to your body about not going out, staying in, and if you let it, your body will listen and co-operate with your mind.  One of the ways I am going to get back into a walking plan is to factor in set periods of time to get out and about, half an hour at lunch is a great way to start, this first week back has been hectic (and Im sure most people will find it the same!) so I have set a date to start my lunch-time walks and I will be sticking to it.  I find once you have set a date, it is easier to overcome the minds excuses!  Once I get into a routine again, I will then start setting myself goals in terms of distance, such as  – how far can I walk in half an hour, monitor it and try to better it the following day.  Hopefully I can ease myself back into 10000 steps a day and will be back hitting target soon!

I am proud to have taken part in Cancer Research’s Walk All Over Cancer back in September and achieving an average of over 10000 steps a day.  Before this challenge I was unsure whether I would be able to do it and questioned myself about taking part, but I set myself a personal goal and I achieved what I set out to do.  I am hoping to take part in this again in the future and will be looking for people to join me on the way if and when I do!  I have also realized 10000 steps can be a lot easier to achieve if it is broken down into chunks during the day rather than attempting the majority in one go.  I am hoping to hit 10000 steps more often this year!

I haven’t made any resolutions this year but have set myself a goal of taking more steps this year than last year and I am aiming for at least 10000 steps a day for 80% of the year!  What walking goals or resolutions have you set yourself?

I am no longer going to be sharing my daily stats to this blog, I have set up an Instagram specifically for my daily stats (you can follow me @tenthousandsteps2016 ) but I will be posting how I have done weekly and share my highs and lows with you each Sunday!  If you would like to see how I have done this first week then come back to read my Week in Review on 8th January!

Thank You

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Thank you to all of you who have supported me in the Walk All Over Cancer 10,000 Step A Day Challenge, all of you who have sponsored me and asked me questions and kept me sane!  A special mention should go out to my dog Roxy, who has walked the vast majority of my steps at my side, to my lovely partner Andy who has encouraged me and listened to me, and to my long time friend Sam, who without, I probably wouldn’t have made it through the final week, and my work friend Mr B who has made me laugh along the way!.  To all of you, thank you so much!

Now I know you are all itching to know the final totals but first I think its only fair to share yesterdays stats with you…

Did I make it to 10,000 steps on my final day of this challenge?

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I definitely did!!!  🙂  I passed the last 10,000 steps in September at 19:02.  I did want to mark passing that point with something or someone, but in the end I figured that I started this challenge with my dog and that was how I was going to finish.  I did take a photo to mark the occasion and place where this happened!!!

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Out on a walk with Roxy along the cycle track is where we hit our final target!

So, now I bet you are wondering what my total stats are for the month..

Well…. I covered 125.2 miles or 157.71 kilometers since the start.  That is a total of 323840 (three hundred thousand eight hundred and forty!!!!) steps!

There is still time to make a donation to Cancer Research UK which you can do via my Just Giving page.  I have walked 10,000 steps a day for the whole of September in order to raise money for Cancer Research, if you would like to sponsor me or donate, you can visit my Just Giving page where a few clicks will see your donation added to the cause.

Why 10,000 Steps A Day?

10,000 steps doesn’t really sound like a lot, but for most of us, our step count is much lower than we realise.  Most of us move around 3-5,000 steps a day, which is especially true of my job where I sit at a desk all day, getting up and moving when I want a cup of tea or water, the toilet or a snack from the machine in the foyer.  Before this challenge the most steps I would take would be walking to and from my car each day and a half hour walk with Roxy of a night.  People, everywhere are leading more and more sedentary lives, where walking is getting phased out for driving everywhere, playing on the street is being replaced by computer games and tv, socialising with friends in person is now being overtaken by Skype and FaceTime chats and social media sites.  I have heard the phrase “we should be moving the recommended 10,000 steps a day” so much but have never really known its origin or significance.

So where did this figure come from?  Originally, I thought the figure had been calculated by health wizards as the magic number that we should be hitting each day, and started to believe it was part of the Eat Less, Move More NHS campaign (It isn’t, being aware of time spent moving and focusing on “moving more” than you do at present is though…)  So, I started to do some research into this 10,000 steps a day phenomenon.  I read a really interesting article from the BBC called Do you really need to take 10,000 steps a day to keep fit? which says that “It’s believed that the concept of 10,000 steps originated in Japan in the run-up to the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, says Catrine Tudor-Locke, an associate professor at the Pennington Biomedical Research Centre at Louisiana State University. Pedometers became all the rage in the country as Olympic fever swept through Japanese society. One company came out with a device called a manpo-kei, which means 10,000 step meter. “It was a business slogan, like ‘Just Do It’ for Nike, but it resonated with people,” Tudor-Locke says.Since then 10,000 steps has become a commonly-acknowledged goal for daily fitness across the world. Various targets around that figure have been published by public bodies.”

10,000 steps was where the bar was set, and today most pedometers (Fitbits, Jawbones etc) have that step count as its target per day.  There is some math around this figure as well, this post, here, explains that figure and the reasoning behind it makes sense too.  The post explains how it is recommended that we do 30mins of exercise a day, which should give you x amount of steps which can be added to what is classed as a normal amount of steps for an average person (this figure is quoted as around 6500 steps, my average per day before going for a walk is far less…) should then give a figure of around 8,500 – 10,000 steps a day.

There is also the psychological side to look at, 10,000 steps is a nice round number that can be broken down in many different ways (5 lots of 2000 steps for example) so you can easily calculate how to build up those steps through the day.  And its memorable, 10,000 sounds much nicer and neater than say 7500 or 8,250.  People are always pulled toward numbers that end in zero’s or are round, whole tens/hundreds/thousands.

For me though, I like even numbers for a start, and 10,000 is a benchmark figure for me to aim for each day.  It hovers at the finish line and cheers me on, “come on, you can reach me, just another 10 mins of walking and you are there!”.  Then my Jawbone buzzes against my wrist to let me know that I have reached my target for the day, and I feel like I have achieved something, no matter how good or bad my day may have been otherwise, its an achievement that I can say I reached.

And on tht note…did I achieve yesterday?  Let’s take a look….

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I did indeed!!!

I am aiming to walk 10,000 steps a day for the whole of september in order to raise money for Cancer Research, if you would like to sponsor me or donate, you can visit my Just Giving page where a few clicks will see your donation added to the cause.