Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Put Some Extra Steps in Your Day

First, thanks to Michelle for her great first post today, and to all of you who posted comments. You rock!

I had to do the grocery shopping this afternoon, and since it was right after rush hour the parking lot was fuller than when I normally go during the middle of the day. But this was actually a good thing. It forced me to walk farther. So that got me to thinking about ways we can all put extra steps in our days, getting us past that 10,000-step mark.

1. When you go shopping, park at the farthest point of the parking lot. This applies to the grocery, the mall, wherever you shop.

2. Same goes for doctor appointments (unless you're really sick), dentist appointments, basically anywhere you go that has a parking lot.

3. When you're working at the computer, set your timer for 45 minutes. Work for 45 minutes, then get up and move around for 15 -- doing housework, walking to the mailbox, maybe one or two trips up and down your street.

4. Instead of going through drive-throughs, get out and walk into the restaurant, pharmacy, etc.

5. Can't get out to go walking when it's rainy or cold and don't have a treadmill? Head to the mall. You can join all those mall walkers, and you can eyeball clothes in the shops that you want to get into when you're a smaller size. You'll be walking yourself closer to it every day.

Today's progress:

Calorie intake: 1,188.64 (Succeeded in having a lower calorie intake today. Back below 1,200.)

Exercise: 30 minutes house cleaning, and walking around the grocery store avoiding fattening things :) (I know, I know. I really need to up this despite the deadline.)

Steps: 8,439 (Didn't make my 10,000-step goal for the day, so I'm shooting for 12,000 tomorrow.)


Michelle on August 11, 2009 at 9:49 AM said...

These are great! Some other tips I've heard for incorporating more activity into your life include:
take the stairs
get off at a metro/subway/bus stop that is one stop earlier than your ultimate destination and walk the rest of the way
if you work in an office environment, get up and walk to your colleague to ask him/her a question instead of sending an email or calling
go for a walk on your lunch hour
instead of having a meeting in an office with a colleague, go on a walk with him/her and discuss what needs to be discussed
exercise while watching tv (Trish is a pro at this!)
Stand while doing activities - e.g. I often stand while reading one of the trades or the news clips I read daily at work
Get up from your chair at least once a hour - drinking a lot of water can help with this.

What are some other tips that you have found helpful?

MaryC on August 11, 2009 at 10:03 AM said...

Because I live in the city, I walk practically everywhere. The plus side of that is I get in 10,000+ steps daily without even having to think about it. The down side is that my body is so used to it that all those steps don't really count as extra exercise for me. I figure at this point they just about keep me from gaining wait provided I don't overeat.

On the topic of exercise though - has anyone read the Time article this week?

I don't know if the link will work but the title is "Why Exercise Won't Make you Thin." It had some really interesting (and to my mind, valid) points. The gist is basically that it's what you do or don't eat that makes the difference because people who exercise heavily tend to get so hungry that they end up eating more than the calories they burn. I know this was always true for me when I used to swim regularly. I'd end up ready to eat anything in sight because I was so hungry.

Great post yesterday, Michelle. Sorry I didn't get to comment. Congrats on sticking with it this time and on the results!

Michelle on August 11, 2009 at 10:27 AM said...

Thanks, MaryC! I haven't read that article yet, but I will. I have found that when I first start exercising beyond whatever is my current level of fitness (I do live in a city area too and walk a lot bc of it), my appetite really increases. However, after I have worked out for at a consistent level for a consistent amount of time (a couple of months or so), I find that the exercise can be an appetite suppressant.

I can't do this just by limiting my food alone. I have to incorporate exercise. Part of that is that exercise has so many positive side effects that it increases my joy whereas limiting my food intake often feels like a way to decrease my joy. I need to find a way that I'm getting enough joy so to speak.

MaryC on August 11, 2009 at 10:43 AM said...

I agree, Michelle. The article did point out that exercise certainly has lots of health benefits. It was more an explanation of how people can exercise religiously and still not lose weight.

I know for me the only thing that works is counting calories. I like to do certain types of exercise to keep me limber as I'm now in my cough5thdecadecough. I recently found some interesting exercises in Prevention for strengthening abdominal muscles and I've enjoyed doing them. I also love to dance as exercise - so long as it's in my house with no one but the dog to see! Even he starts barking at the sight!

Michelle on August 11, 2009 at 10:49 AM said...

MaryC, I did just read the article, and it was thought-provoking. It's all about calories in and calories out - and we need to focus more on the calories in. It seems like yet another WW leader was right - we tend to underestimate the calories in and overestimate the calories out. I'm sure I do. I'm going to take this as another reminder that I really need to be aware and honest about how much calories I am really eating.

Enjoy the dancing and the abdominal exercises! My zumba - latin dance aerobics - class last night was packed bc it is SO fun! We smile our way through it - which is not the case in most of my other exercise classes.

Trish Milburn (Tricia Mills) on August 11, 2009 at 11:21 AM said...

Great tips, Michelle. I actually thought of the people in the subway in D.C. who walk up the escalator instead of just riding it.

And, yes, I am a big fan of TV and movies. Lately, when I've been low on my steps for the day, I'll watch something on the TiVo or DVD at night and either do step aerobics or just walking in place. It's definitely better than just sitting on the couch.

Trish Milburn (Tricia Mills) on August 11, 2009 at 11:26 AM said...

MaryC, sometimes I wished I lived in more of a walking city. My agent lives in Madison, Wisconsin, and it's so pedestrian friendly and beautiful there. Paths literally everywhere with people walking, biking, rollerblading. I think it's consistently ranked as one of the healthiest cities in the country. Here, it's hard to even find a dang sidewalk. We do have a greenway, but since much of it is wooded and winds along the river, I'm really not comfortable walking there by myself.

Maybe you could wear a pedometer for a couple of weeks to see what your normal amount of steps per day is and then increase it by, say, 5,000 steps and see what happens.

Trish Milburn (Tricia Mills) on August 11, 2009 at 11:26 AM said...

Oh, and thanks for the article link. I'll read that as my article for the day.

Trish Milburn (Tricia Mills) on August 11, 2009 at 11:31 AM said...

MaryC, I love dancing too. I wonder how many calories I burned off at the Harlequin party at the RWA conference this year. 4 hours of dancing!

Also, I'm a big believer in the mental and mood benefits of exercise. I always feel bad (physically and emotionally) if I'm not getting enough exercise. I've decided that I've got to exercise early before I start work for the day. That way, I'm riding the exercise high as I'm writing, and I don't get to the end of the writing day and say I'm too tired, it's too late, etc. Like I just finished 55 minutes of working in the yard pulling weeds (they're taking over!) and trimming bushes. I can't go out first thing because I've got to eat something so my blood sugar doesn't do the plummeting thing. Plus, if I'm working outside, I give my Allegra time to kick in so I don't sneeze my head off.

Tawny on August 11, 2009 at 1:50 PM said...

Trish, I am determined to get a new pedometer (I have 4, none work... methinks there's a message there somewhere LOL) and push for those 10k steps. I love the 45 min timer idea, too. We have stairs in the new house and I could do a few dozen trips on and down the stairs- wouldn't that be a great exercise?

MaryC, thanks for the article. I'm off to read it, but have to say that I've found way to many times that I can't rely on exercise alone. Or even exercise and counting calories (I average 3 weeks and with no results I get frustrated and ditch it all). So hopefully there are some hints in this article to make this time work!!

Trish Milburn (Tricia Mills) on August 11, 2009 at 2:47 PM said...

Tawny, I'm thinking about investing in a higher quality pedometer. I have some a cheapie giveaway one and then a low-end one I got at Wally World. So I need to do some investigation about which kinds are the most accurate.

And the stairs are a good idea. We have a set of stairs in our house, but we don't use them much since they just go up to a storage room and, honestly, whoever put them in was a moron. They are way too steep. They're somewhere between stairs and a ladder. :)

Caren Crane on August 11, 2009 at 8:07 PM said...

Tawny, I need a new pedometer, too! It's tough to get in 10k steps when one has a very sendentary job. I don't work at home, but in an office building without long hallways. Getting steps in (and keeping my weight down) was easier when I worked in our HUGE data center. Since we moved to this smaller building 2 years ago, I had gained 14 pounds!

I usually try to walk for 20 minutes twice a day, which helps, but I lose enthusiasm when it gets really hot out. I decided not to let that be an excuse this time around, when I came back from conference ready to lose weight! I began walking in our biggest conference room for 20 minutes twice a day AND I do at least 4 30 - 60 second intervals of "fast feet" in each walk. Fast feet is like football players do in training when they're standing in lines and basically running in place. The action is low, though, you shouldn't be bouncing up and down, and you don't move your arms. It gets your heartrate UP!

The other thing I've been doing is avoiding bread - even whole grain bread. It's not really South Beach Phase 1, though, because I've been having fruit. Lots of salad, lots of grilled chicken and salmon and boiled eggs. Add in seasonal fruits and tons of water and it's quite satisfying.

So far, I've lost 6 pounds. Only 8 more to my 2-years-ago weight, then another 10 to my four-years-ago weight. *sigh* It may take a couple of years.

Btw, I've

Trish Milburn (Tricia Mills) on August 11, 2009 at 11:32 PM said...

Caren, congrats on shedding those six pounds! Is that just since RWA National? Sounds like you're finding creative ways to get your steps in. Awesome.

Natalie J. Damschroder on August 12, 2009 at 7:23 PM said...

1. I have a mental block about this. I am soooo driven by time, and usually fit errands in around other things. Parking further away takes precious time when I only have, like, 10 minutes total to go to the store.

3. I'm thinking about trying this out:

Ignoring their claims about very short bits of exercise... I tend to sit for hours and hours without getting up, and something like this might work very well for me. I was thinking I could just do it without investing in the program, but then, if I DO invest, it's a catalyst for not ignoring it when it pops up.

Though that's not helping with my gym membership. *sigh*

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