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Week 2: Increase Your Goal

We had a beautiful day here in the Kansas City area. The sun was shining with a gentle breeze and a temperature of a spring-like 58 degrees. I decided it was a great day to get my walking shoes out and check out how my favorite walking trail was doing this winter. I powered up my smart watch, pulled on my sneakers, zipped up my hoodie, and walked to the park.

I was so glad to have the chance to cure myself of cabin fever. I hit the sidewalk, ready for the wind, ready for the sun, ready for walking. As I walked along, I waved at neighbors, smiled at dogs, even bent down to pet a cat. Yes, I said it -- a cat (don't tell my dogs, though). I felt something happening...this expression was coming across my face by the end of the first block. I believe it was called a smile. I was experiencing joy and happiness.

Walking has so many benefits, but one of them is that it boosts your mood. As you walk you release endorphins, and those endorphins make you feel happier. Walking also boosts your mood by relieving stress and tension. I don't know about you, but when I get home from a nice walk, I feel like all the tension in my back and shoulders has left my body.
Photo by Jeanette R. Harrison, MPH

Of course, I was super happy to be walking today because it allowed me to increase my goal this week. This is Week 2 of the Billion Steps Challenge with the American Public Health Association (APHA), and I had set a goal to increase my steps this week to 2,000 steps a day. In case you are wondering, one mile is roughly 2,000 steps. Therefore, this week, my goal is to walk one mile a day for five days.

I easily achieved my goal today since I walked 3.3 miles, or over three times my daily goal. If I count my steps from walking my dogs at the park this evening, I walked 4.2 miles today, or over 8,000 steps. That doesn't include my walking around the house. If I could give myself a high five, I would. Instead, I will just pat myself on the back.

This week, though is a great time to increase those steps to 2,000 steps a day. I usually take that many steps around the house every day, and I'm sure you can, too. Then, when you write down your steps on Move Spring, you can say that you, too, walked a mile today!