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?

Mini First Aid Kits

I spoke before about First Aid Kits and what sort of things you could carry with you in your walking bag (the post is here )but today’s “Best” post looks at kits that you can purchase, ready made up, and carry with you…

The first one that I really like is this one that can be purchased in Boots.  It is designed for travel (holidays) but is perfectly equipped with things that can be of assistance to an injured walker.  The kit contains things to treat cuts, insect bites, blisters and a range of other things too and has the St John seal of approval.

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My second favorite is this one from Lifesystems which has been recommended by the Duke Of Edinborough’s Award (a youth awards programme where walking is part of the award).  It contains items to treat cuts, grazes and all manner of other wounds that can be sustained when out walking.

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The third choice would be this one from Eurekadirect.  While it is aimed at cyclists it  contains the basics that you would need on a walk should you need to treat cuts, grazes or blisters.

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I like all three of these kits and they would comfortably fit into a rucksack, not taking up too much space or adding much weight to your pack but offering reassurance.

Do you have a first aid kit?  Did you buy it or make it up yourself?  What is the most useful item you have in yours?

 

How Much Is Too Much?

This is something I get asked over and over, “if the recommended step allowance daily is 10000 steps, then how much is too much?” or “how many steps is too many?”, and while we know that inactivity and little movement is a bad thing for our bodies there is not much written about how much is too much.  The daily recommended steps is set at 10000 steps per day, which can be achieved if you are aware of how much you move through the day and while there is set minimum it has been said that a sedentary person (like me, who’s job is to be sat at a desk in an office all day) will make between 1000 and 3000 steps in a day, some people, like my partner (who is a roofer) will easily hit 50000 steps or more a day.  I think the question should be rephrased as “How many steps is too much for me?” or maybe even looking at the question from the other side of the coin – “How many steps is too little?”.  Both of these questions have similar answers.

How many steps is too much? I think the answer lies within you and can be answered fairly easily by listening to your body and what it is telling you.  I know that I probably will not hit 50000 steps in a day without a huge struggle and effort, I know that my knees and legs will ache before I have even got half way to that amount.  I also know that I will be getting tired and thirsty, even when having a break. I know that it will take me more and more effort and determination to get up and carry on.  And I know that my recovery time, the days after hitting that many steps, will be long, and I will ache for a considerable time afterwards.  And having a prolonged recovery time will leave me inactive during that time frame, so would it really be worth it?

Similar can be said in answer to “How many steps is too little?”  Again, listening to your body will give you the answer you are seeking.  If you find that you have a lot of energy left at the end of the day and you feel like you have been sat down for too long then maybe you need to increase your activity levels and your steps.  There are lots of causes for irritability, anxiousness and not being able to sleep but sometimes, not having taken enough steps can be the cause.  If you think that you have taken too few steps in your day then try to add in activities that mean you take more steps, it doesn’t even have to be massive changes, things like parking your car further away from work or the shops, walking to different toilets on your break or going for a walk at lunch can increase your steps.

The big thing to remember with minimum and maximum steps is that we are all different, different in terms of activity levels during a normal day, fitness levels, even how we spend our time and all of this can have an impact on our steps.  It is now that I would recommend looking at your inactive day statistics, for me its usually a Sunday, my average steps falls around 2300, but on my active days then I can hit around 14000 steps.  Once you have found your minimum and maximum steps then you can work out an average that you can aim for day to day (to do this – minimum steps + maximum steps / 2), for me this would be 2300 + 14000 = 16300 / 2 = 8150, and as long as I hit around that figure regularly then I wouldn’t worry about minimum or maximum steps or concentrate too hard on what another person hits step wise.  We are all different so we need to embrace that!

Things to Look for on Your Walks

This is another series I am hoping to make a regular feature on my blog.  In this series I will be letting you know of things to keep an eye out for when you are out and about!

I’m sure you will have seen my photos of mushrooms that I have found on my walks and Im pleased to say that the mushroom season seems to be continuing.  I have lost count

ount of different types of mushroom or fungi that I have seen on my walks but its a lot!  I think that the mushroom season is continuing thanks to the warm, damp weather we have been experiencing and from the weather forecasts, though the temperature is starting to drop, in terms of temperature, its still warm for mushrooms to thrive.  The appearance of mist in the mornings has also helped by keeping the ground moist and damp, perfect for a mushroom to form.

The leaves on the trees are continuously changing color and falling at this time of the year, and they are all different shapes, sizes and tones.  Why not keep an eye out for both the biggest and smallest leaves?

Other things to look out for are seeds and nuts falling from trees, from hazelnuts and beech seeds to conkers and helicopter seeds (from the maple tree family!)  I have already found a sizeable collection of conkers and have placed them around my home – apparently they keep spiders away!

Here are some photos I took of things I have found this month on my walks!

And now for yesterdays stats…how did I do?

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I didn’t do too bad for a Saturday!

Summer Walks Throwback – Part 3 – Oxwich

This is the third installment of my Summer Walks Throwback series, it is also the last installment which I hope to start up again next year.  As you know from my previous installments, I went away for 3 weeks in the summer and to 3 different places in my campervan, this is the final week of that time away.

I came back to the Gower area of South Wales and stayed in a lovely campsite above Oxwich Bay called Greenways Of Gower.  I chose this site as it had really good reviews and, again, allowed dogs on site.  It is a bit of a trek uphill from Oxwich Bay but isn’t too difficult a walk, though if you have small children or mobility issues then I would advise you to drive up and down from the site.  Oxwich Bay is not too far from Port Eynon where we stayed for the first week of our holidays, it was a nice walk to and from our site so we walked there and back a few times and we also spent quite a bit of our time walking along the beach, when the tide is out you can walk to Three Cliffs Bay!  We also walked along the headland and explored the pathways along the way.

Here are some photos of our week away at Oxwich Bay.

If you go down to the Gower where do you stay?

And now for yesterdays stats…How did I do?

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I didn’t hit 10,000 steps but I did do 100 mins of housework which equates to around 7,200 steps which doesn’t show on my Jawbone app.  If you want to convert other activities into steps this site http://www.purdue.edu/walktothemoon/activities.html is really useful 🙂

Week 7 Overview

I have been thinking about how I write this part of my blog and have decided on a change of format.  I will begin this section by giving my total weekly stats and a breakdown as to how I have achieved this then give a day to day total and what happened that day to cause me to either meet, or not, my target. So here goes!

Wednesday 12th  10289 steps.  I went for a walk at lunch time  for 24 mins and covered 1.02 miles, taking 2515 steps and then in the evening I took Roxy around the block for a walk for 45mins and covered 0.57 miles, Roxy seemed to want to stop and sniff at everything so I only took 1496 steps.  The rest of my steps were taken up with moving around in work and at home.

Thursday 13th 7159 steps.  I went out for a walk at lunch time for 29 mins and covered 1.13 miles taking 2751 steps.  In the evening I didn’t go out for a walk as I went to visit my parents and had tea with them.  The rest of my steps were made in work and at my parents when I was playing with the dogs!  I knew that I would be under target today as I am fairly sedentary when at my parents and am always under my target on visit days in general.

Friday 14th  7320 steps.  I went out at lunch time for a 39 minute walk and covered 0.98 miles and taking a total 2396 steps.  I then went home after work and did a load of housework (a normal thing on a Friday)  Most of my steps were taken in work and at home when cleaning and tidying up.  I didn’t take Roxy out for a walk as she got exercise playing in the garden while I was cleaning.  If I factor in the time I was cleaning and converted that time into steps I would have been over my target of 10,000 steps.

Saturday 15th 10849steps.  We went out for my Birthday trip to Westonbirt Arboretum and walked around for 201 minutes, covering 2.44 miles and taking a total 6457 steps.  The rest of my steps were made up by walking Roxy around the block.

Sunday 16th 8860 steps.  Today was my Birthday!  I made up my steps while out shopping and taking Roxy out for a 44 minute walk where I covered 1.68 miles and took 3929 steps.  Hitting my target today seemed to be really easy as I didn’t need to make a conscious effort to take any steps, the arboretum was a lovely place to go to walk and my attention was held elsewhere than my feet!

Monday 17th 5305 steps.  I had my flu jab on Friday and today I think I had a bit of a reaction to it, I felt tired, achy and a bit sick in general.  I didn’t manage to get out for my lunch time walk as I wasn’t really feeling up to it and when I got home all I seemed to have energy to do was sit on the sofa with Roxy and not do much.  I am pleased I managed to hit 5305 steps though as I was imagining it to be much lower!

Tuesday 18th 10404 steps.  Today I went out for a walk at lunch for 29 minutes covering 1.18 miles and a total 2859 steps then in the evening I went out for a walk with Roxy for 39 minutes covering 0.93 miles and taking 2553 steps.  The rest of my steps were made up by doing some housework and in work.

All in all I am happy with my stats for the week.  I have made a total of 60186 steps which has covered 23.6 miles (or 37.98 kms) and done 450 minutes of exercise which isn’t that bad considering I haven’t been feeling too well!

And now for yesterdays stats, did I hit my 10,000 step target?

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I did!  🙂

Useful Websites for Walkers

This post follows on from the Useful Apps for Walkers blog that I posted on Tuesday. Just like apps and how useful they can be, I am going to share some sites that I have found useful in planning my walks.

The beauty of websites is that they can run on your computer at home and assist you with future walking route planning, research into routes or help you to discover new places to explore. They can inspire you at any time of the day or night and you can do all of this from the comfort of your own home! The other good thing is that they run on your mobile too (providing you have a signal and internet capabilities) so they can be used wherever you are!

The first site that I have found to be really useful is the NHS 10,000 Step Challenge site. This site has been really useful as it gives a lot of information about walking and getting fit, how to start and what kind of things you should consider.  This site was one of my first poets of call when I signed up to do the Walk All Over Cancer, 10,000 steps a day challenge and is one I keep going back to.

Ramblers is a useful site for anyone and everyone.

The Ordinance Survey website is one of my favourite places to visit when I have decided on a walking destination in a new area. Their site  hElla you choose the right map for the area you are visiting by finding the correct map based on a postcode or area search which you can then purchase online.  It also has an area for you to explore maps online and get an overall view of the selected area OS style.  There are other really useful things to discover in this site, like old maps of the area, which, if you are interested in history or fancy looking at what your town or area used to be like is worth checking out!

I stumbled upon Plotaroute.com by accident when I was searching for a route planner that I could use to work out walking route distances and timings for walks.  This site is really easy to use and you can use it to plot walking, cycling and driving routes.  You can either put in start and finish destinations and see where the program will take you or you can choose your start point and move it along to your destination going your own route.  I found this the most easy route planner as you can easily select pathways and other “off road” trails where some planners will only let you plan via roads.

Walk to the moon .  If you have been following me since the beginning of my step challenge for Cancer Reseaech UK you will have heard me talk about Walk To The Moon in one of my blog posts.  Walk to the moon is a really useful resource for converting more static exercises (or housework) into steps.  I used this when I fell short of my total steps one day but had done over an hours housework and wanted to know what the equivalent work out would have been in steps.  My old activity tracker would work out some of these conversions for me but my new tracker doesn’t.  This is a useful tool for me as I like to see what each activity equals step wise and stops me feeling so bad for not hitting my target steps but, it’s not something I want to use on a day to day basis to boost my step count as I feel that steps and other activity should be measured individually and not as a whole (and it feels a bit like cheating on the step count front).

Woodland Trust is the final site that as a walker I find really useful. I spend a lot of time walking through woodland and this site can help you to find new routes or woodland to go walking in.  The site also gives information about the types of trees you may encounter on your walks along with a whole host of other information.  I have discovered that there are a few woodlands not far from me that I never knew existed and are now on my list of walks to explore!!!

I hope this list proves useful for you and that you find it interesting and a good starting point!  There are lots and lots of different sites all dedicated to walking and resources for walkers so if you know of any others that may be useful, pop them into the comments section!

Now, did I hit 10,000 steps yesterday?

IMG_8473.PNGI did!!! I went for a walk at lunch time at work and then in the evening I took Roxy out for a walk!