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Showing posts from January, 2021

Raising Your Level of Awesome

 This week I am walking 11,100 steps. Actually, I have been finding myself walking more than 11,100 steps a day. Since I have been walking several miles a day for at least three years, I find walking more steps easier than before. As you increase every week, you will also find yourself reaching your former goals without even thinking about it. Those goals may even become a habit to you. As I walked today, I was thinking back to the first year I did the Billion Steps Challenge and started walking again. It was three years ago, and it was in the late Spring and early Summer. I remember struggling to get to three miles a day, and I celebrated myself when I reached five miles. I never would have imagined that four miles would almost be my starting point, and five miles would be an easy goal for me to reach.  Photo by Jeanette R. Harrison The thing is, like many other goals we set in life, once we achieve our short term goal or even a new goal, then we start to get accustomed to being at th

Moving Toward Small Goals

 The first week of the Keep It Moving Challenge, I wrote that I had a goal to add strength training to my routine. I also wrote that I wanted to walk 25,000 steps this year and participate in a 5K and a 10K. To achieve those goals, I add in my activities incrementally. By adding in activities little by little, then I can maintain the gain I have already established. I also can include new short term goals and make them part of my long-term plan. This year, I started off walking 7,700 steps a week. I started at a higher number than I usually do for two reasons. First, I have been walking for a few years now, and the amount of steps I take comfortably without feeling too much exertion is pretty high now. Second, I wanted to be able to reach my stretch goal of walking 25,000 steps a day this year. To do that and continue adding in about 1,100 steps a week, I knew that I was going to have to start with 7,700 steps a week. I did a little math and calculated the steps and the number of weeks

Different Ways to Move

In public health, we talk about health equity. Health equity is making health not equal, but equitable for all people. The concept may seem confusing, so let me think of a better way to illustrate it. Think back to the first bicycle or even tricycle you had. How big was it? How small was it? How big or small were the wheels? Could an adult ride on your tricycle or bicycle? Most likely not. The bicycle or tricycle was made for you at your age and your size and your skill level. The next bike you had maybe had training wheels. Why? You weren't quite ready to ride a regular-sized bike. Once you got the hang of riding your bike with training wheels, the training wheels came off, and you were riding around on your little bicycle all by yourself. As time went on, you graduated to bigger and bigger bikes. The bikes grew as you grew and were adjusted to fit your personal needs. As an adult, you may have finally settled into the kind of bicycle you liked. Whether it was a road racer, a dirt

Moving Beyond Encouragement

I was a cheerleader in high school. We all know the purpose of cheerleaders. It is to provide encouragement and support for the team and to get the crowd engaged in doing the same. By doing so, cheerleaders and crowds are often called the twelfth player in football or soccer or the sixth player in basketball, or the tenth player on the baseball or softball team. You get the idea. Although all the cheering, encouragement, and support helps the team win the game, the team members have to have the skills and abilities to play the game. One of my first jobs out of college was as an athletic counselor, aka a coach, at a private camp on the East Coast. I later went on to coach several other teams. As a college faculty member, I later became a coach of a different sort. I had a lot of different types of players on my teams. The players who usually did well were the players who put in the effort. They spent time learning drills, learning the skills of the game, studying, and honing their abili

Keep It Moving

On New Year's Day, I started this year's Keep It Moving Challenge . It runs from January 1 to April 11. This was formerly known as the Billion Steps Challenge. The name was changed this year to coordinate with the "Move Your Way" campaign sponsored by the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. The challenge encourages people to move in whatever way works best for them such as walking, running, cycling, swimming, gardening, yoga, and cleaning. I've decided to continue walking, possibly running, and maybe adding in some other activities here and there. New Year's Day was my first real day back out on the trail in two months. Every year, I take a two months hiatus from walking and exercising. I typically do that in November and December. I find it helps me recharge and gives my body a break from all the other hardcore exercising I'm doing. Walking six or seven miles or more a day can be hard on my joints and eventually gets to be exhausting. The