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, 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 two months' break gives my body a chance to recuperate. Doing so also reduces my aches and pains that I have as I get older and continue to exercise quite a bit. There are days that I need to rest because I have minor arthritis in my hips or my past sports injuries from my younger days are bothering me. Typically, November and December are really busy months for me because of the holidays, but they weren't this year. I spent most of those two months alone. Throwing in not exercising for those two months was almost outright agony.
|Photo by Jeanette Harrison|
As I walked on New Year's Day, I planned in my head my exercise goals for the year. I already know that I want to walk up to 25,000 steps a day. Because I have about 14 weeks to get to the 25,000 steps, I started at 7,700 steps this year. In years past, I started at 2,000 or 4,400 steps. I like setting the steps goal because I feel like it is attainable every week, and I have a tremendous sense of accomplishment each time I reach the next level. I also decided that I wanted to participate in another 5K this year, probably sooner rather than later. My longer-term goal is to participate in a 10k. I'm finally getting adjusted to the climate where I live, so I should be able to start running this year.
I'm also hoping to add in some free weights and strength training exercises. I'm literally sitting here looking at my hand weights as I'm writing this and thinking about how I am going to start incorporating strength-training into my regular routine. I completed strength-training programs when I was younger, so it really is just a matter of getting started. Of course, I have a lot of other things I want to do, too. I have a lot of interests and think a lot of different activities would be fun to do. I may even write about some of those activities, in addition to walking. I'll keep you posted!