A life of walking and how to get moving

How much do you walk each day?

Personal pedometers and fitness trackers have been all the rage lately, and it seems like people are starting to take notice of how much they move. That’s such a good thing, because walking is a safe and effective way to add movement to your life, even if you don’t do any other exercising at all.

With my active lifestyle and keen interest in health and wellness, I’m a prime candidate for a fitness tracker, but I haven’t invested in one yet. There are so many options out there, like the Fitbit Flex, Nike Fuelband, Jawbone UP24 and so on, that it will take some time to research what is right for me.

Although I don’t know exactly how many steps I take each day, I have a general idea of my mileage by gauging the distance of my regular destinations from my home.

I walk a lot. I walk on hills and inclines. I take the stairs. And I run around the group fitness room many days a week while teaching classes.

My estimated walking stats

On an average day, I cover no less than two miles and climb no less than five flights of stairs. And that’s not including my actual workout. (Yes, I really should track it all with a device.)

Here are just a few shots taken from my regular journeys around San Francisco, which give you an idea of some of the steep grades and settings.

Walking the city

Walking the City of San Francisco

Walking the City of San Francisco

Walking in a big city

Living in a big city can be very physical.

When we moved to San Francisco from Florida we sold my car and just kept Dave’s car. Dave drives to work most days since his office is across the Bay in Oakland, and I take on the urban areas of SF by foot.

It’s not always easy to be a walker, especially in the rain and cold. But I know that when I move out of the city one day, walking is going to be one of the big things I miss.

I like people watching, breathing the fresh air and having a chance to get my body moving before I arrive at my destination. I can be fully invested in looking at my surroundings and taking it all in, and I never have to worry about traffic.

How to walk more, no matter where you live

You don’t have to live in a big city to make yourself walk more. All you have to do is consciously add a little movement to your day. Here are some tips:

  • Park in the furthest away parking spot as possible, everywhere you go.
  • Walk to your mailbox each day, after parking your car at home.
  • Take the stairs whenever possible.
  • If you’re on a long phone call, get up and walk the perimeter of your house or your office during the entire conversation.
  • When you’re putting away laundry in your house, take one section at a time to the different areas where the clothes need to go and return to the start.
  • Go on a nightly walk after dinner, even if it’s super short.
  • If you work in an office, use a little water glass at your desk and refill it over and over again by getting up to walk to the water cooler.

It doesn’t really matter how you do it, just know that movement is good for you. The more steps you take, the better.

For those of you who live in a big city, I’m guessing you get your fair share of mileage, so keep up the work. And remember, if you find yourself living in the car-dependent ‘burbs one day, you’ll probably miss those free days on foot.

I’m heading off to teach a lunch-time BODYATTACK class. The gym is more than a mile away, so I’m sure to get in plenty of steps. (By the way, since I received good feedback on yesterday’s BODYPUMP 101 overview, a BODYATTACK 101 overview will be coming to the blog soon.)

Questions of the day

How much do you walk each day? Have you invested in a fitness tracker? If so, which one and what is your feedback?

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7 Comments

  1. I don’t walk nearly as much as I did years ago living on my college campus. But, I make it a point to walk whenever possible in my neighborhood on small errands or when meeting friends (that restaurant is less than a mile??? small grocery trip? bestie’s house is a few blocks? etc).

    I draw the line at 2 miles usually though – mostly because I’m NOT getting up and out of the house over an hour earlier to get to and from work in time to get home to my car to drive to the gym that’s 20 miles away. 🙂

    1. Hi Breanne,

      I know! You have to invest in some good walking flats too. I’ve been known to stash some extra shoes in my bag if need be after a good walk. These days I”m mostly in sneakers though. It sounds like you’re getting your steps in each day. You are so right about college, didn’t we all walk a ton then? And that was NOT by choice. 🙂

      Best,
      Ashley

  2. My walking is brutal! But I promise it’s not my choice! I use to work in the town I lived in and during that time I always left my car at home and walked to work – I loved it. Now I have no choice but to drive to work, b/c of the distance & on top of that I sit at a desk all day long. Boo. I do follow many of your tips above & always keep active!
    btw those pics are a beauty. Looks like you have a great walk every day!

    1. Hi Karen,

      I never walked as much as I do now when I lived in Orlando, Florida (that’s where I moved from about a year-and-a-half-ago). The beauty of living in San Francisco is the weather is coldish-mild most of the time so you don’t even break a sweat when walking.

      Make sure you are getting up from your desk a lot. Have you ever considered sitting on a big ball at your desk? Helps you engage the core and stay active when in a seated position.

      Thanks for stopping by the blog.

      Best,
      Ashley

  3. Love living in an urban city and getting tons and tons of walking done throughout the day. I live in NYC and usually end up walking about 2 miles a day… bare minimum! It’s so great because when my days get busy and I don’t have time for a proper workout (which still kills me a little bit mentally)… I still know that I’ve gotten some cardio in and gotten my heart rate pumping! I have always thought about investing in a fitness tracker, but right now I use an iPhone app that I kind of love and that works great, too!

    xo

    Jordan

    1. Hi Jordan,

      From one city gal to another, thanks for stopping by and sharing your walking lifestyle. Which app do you use to track?

      By the way, I love that you are getting TBV t-shirts made. So cute!

      Best,
      Ashley

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