Yes, I am a runner now – as of just over a year ago – but for my first 46 years…ok…maybe I shouldn’t count those first couple eh?…my favorite mode of exercise was walking. I could walk forever. A few times I even walked 60 miles over 3 days 🙂
Mostly though, I walked or more specifically, hiked, because I am also a bird watcher.
It’s kind of hard to see and properly identify birds while running! Though, I do try (maybe that explains the chronic kink in my neck?!)
After hiking in the local chaparral you can’t help but start to notice and learn how to identify the plants and flowers around you. I mean, it’s a lot easier when birding with friends to say “Thrasher in the sage!” vs “Thrasher in the bush with the silver fuzzy leaves and purple flowers!”
I am glad that I learned that the pretty little red flower that the hummingbirds seemed to like is called a Monkey Flower:
I mean, how much fun is that to say?! Also, you should check out that Save The Chapparal link – some gorgeous photos with proper identification of the gorgeous flora and fauna in my area.
My friend wrote about the benefits of walking as exercise here: Take a Walk
While leaving a comment there I remembered all the ways last year that I maximized my steps while wearing a pedometer during my company wide Steps to Wellness challenge.
I was incredibly competitive and got not a little silly about it all! I thought it was more efficient to list those steps here and to clog up her comments with a full on blog post of my own.
- Parked in the back of every parking lot (when safe of course). The boys might have complained about this one!
- Never used an elevator. Not that I was faced with much more than 4 flights of course, but some days I got up from my desk just to walk up and down those stairs!
- Only drove to the local stores if I was going to have to carry back more than I could handle.
- Lunchtime, long daylight evenings and weekends I walked the local trails.
- Checked out our county park websites to find all the easily accessible trails I could explore.
- Drove to downtown areas and went on my own walking tour.
- At work I used roundabout ways to walk to places like our cafeteria or even to the bathroom.
- Set an alarm at my work computer and, when possible, got up for a quick circular walk around the building every hour.
- When I did make a large grocery run in the car, I walked in the groceries from the garage to the kitchen one bag at a time (told you I got silly!)
- Walked up and down my own stairs in my house just for the hell of it at least 20 times a day (yes, I was counting!)
- Walked around my son’s baseball fields while he would practice or play a game.
I know I am forgetting some but honestly, if you get yourself a pedometer and follow the daily guidelines from Corp Tri’s post, you will get caught up really quickly in figuring out ways to take extra steps.
And that means you are moving, which is never ever never a bad thing!
Plus you get to stop and smell the flowers – which is something not entirely encouraged while running 🙂
Don’t get me wrong, I do love running now. Well, no, let me rephrase that.
Eve taught me a little trick for setting a good pace while running which is to mentally chant “I love running” and then to keep your feet moving in that rhythm. It works really well especially on really rough days or going up hills to keep my mind focused on getting through the run.
It’s also a lie.
The real truth is “I love stopping running” That is to say that I love the feeling of accomplishment and sometimes even strength that I have when I finish a run no matter how short or long. That “Rowr, I did it!” feeling is fantastic.
But you can’t STOP unless you START so….someone in between those two, you simply have to run.
I miss walking though. My time now is all taken up with figuring out how to get in that 30-35 minutes to run a 5k route. I used to find the time to WALK that!
So today, I purposefully planned 60 minutes allowing myself 20-25 minutes of trail WALKING after the run.
I really DID love!