10,000 Steps a Day: A Solution for Gym Haters

police walk

I have a confession to make.  I hate “working out”.  I really hate “the gym”- which is ironic that I am married to a man who lives at the gym.  I am amazed by people who have energy to run marathons and play sports.  I did whatever I could, even as far back as elementary school, to get out of gym class.  Sports, meh, not my thing.   I’ve always been the artsy reader who would much rather park my ass in the sand with a good book than swim or snorkel or whatever.

I love walking and yoga.  Yoga studios are my thing: quiet, serene, and a real escape from the everyday grind.  Problem being, here in Chicago, we are talking upwards of $17 bucks a class.  Not good for a family trying to pay down debt.  I guess I will stick to cheesy rented yoga videos for now.

But, my friends, I did find something that has motivated me plenty.  Despite being a woman of letters, I’ve developed a fondness for numbers and tracking things. I blame google analytics and the classroom creative.com for that one.  When I was teaching, we were challenged to wear a pedometer by one of our principals.  I found myself moving more because I knew I was being watched.

Now, I’m my own Big Brother.

I’ve applied that same principle to my not-so lofty fitness goals for this year: move more and relax.  I’m wearing a pedometer to track my steps.  It makes me move more.  If I look at my pedometer, and it’s 2 p.m., and I’ve only moved 3,000 steps, I know I need to start moving!  It’s hard when a lot of your life is spent starting at a screen, sitting on your butt.

Apple needs to invent some computer that forces you to move, like that Nintendo jump pad thing from the early 90s.

I do struggle with energy issues.  I know the more I move, the better I feel.  But I’m allergic to gyms. Seriously. The smelly dripping men.  The creepy tan people in January.  I get really grossed out seeing other people’s sweat on the machines.

I’ve always subscribed to the European idea of working out…just walk a lot!

So, I’ll stick to this pedometer thing until we get out from the Polar Vortex.   At the end of each day, I write my steps on my calendar.  It’s that simple.  I’ve been secretly bribing myself with money each day I hit 10,000. $10 to spend on whatever I want.  Maybe a yoga class. Not going to lie, it’s been rough this month.  It’s Siberia here in Chicago.  I can’t walk the dog.  I’m stuck in the house with my sons in 1000 square feet.

I’ve read that 10,000 steps equates with 5 miles, and that studies show it’s the ideal amount of movement to have in a day for health and wellness.  The average American walks about 100 steps a day, to the car, and to the sofa when they get home from work.  I kid. I believe the average is between 3,000-4,000 for most Americans.

But  I wanted to share this with you, in case you need a kick in the butt.  Or if you hate the gym like me.



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  1. I am gonna count my steps tomorrow with my hike with the boys . Walking helps mentally too makes you feel great about yourself

    1. I’d love to hear more on how you are using it, Erin! I’ve decided to bribe myself. I get $5 for every day I hit 10,00 steps. Then at the end of the month, I can use that $ on anything I so desire. Thanks for the article! Keep me posted on your progress.


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