Getting Fit in the 50's – One Year Update
Well we are half way into January and I decided it was time to share an update on my fitness progress.
One year ago I decided it was time to get up off the couch and start moving. I desired to be in shape. I was out of shape, and still am.. but the improvements I've seen in one year have been amazing.
I posted my journey last year and added updates as the year went along. I am now one year into my fitness journey. So I wanted to update and give you a little bit more about my year.
In January my main goal was to just .. move.. I did not like where I was at. I wanted to be more active. I began by walking. I still walk. And I love it. It costs me nothing, I don't need special equipment (other than a good pair of shoes!), I don't need a membership anywhere and I can do it in various ways any time and anywhere.
My first goal was to walk a mile. When I step out my door, walk to the end of my driveway, down the road to where it meets the next road, turn around and come back.. I have walked one mile.
I could not believe how much that mile exhausted me. I felt worn out when I came home. But I kept at it. Pretty soon I could do the mile and felt more exhilarated than worn out. I increased it to two miles. I waked to the next spot down the road, turned around and came home.. 2 miles. The big challenge for me was the 3 mile loop. I could walk a loop that was a little over 3 miles. A LOT of my walk is uphill. Especially at the end. So it was a lot more challenging than a 3 mile flat land walk would be. But.. I did it! I will always remember the first time I walked it and came home.. and fell on the couch and was sure I'd never get up again!
Pretty soon I was interested in seeing how much I could walk in a regular days activities. So I downloaded an app to my phone that tracked my steps. I loved it. The only down side for me was that I had to wear my phone on me all day long. Not something I typically do. That got me interested in the FitBit.
I purchased a FitBit in April and began to track my steps each day. Here is what I found out. It is a LOT of work to get 10,000 steps in each day! 10,000 steps is the daily recommend amount for basic daily activity to maintain your weight and be fit. That comes out to approximately 5 miles a day. That is a LOT. I found there was no way I got 5 miles of walking in my day without adding an extra purposeful walk into my day.
That became my goal, 10,000 steps each day. No, I have not reached that every day, but I have reached it more than I have not. I have to say the FitBit has been incredible motivation to just keep moving every single day. I now look for opportunities to move and I love that. Even when I'm out shopping I look for parking spaces farther away from the entrance of the store just so I can get more steps in! :) It has made me feel more fit, more vigorous and more alive. I feel the difference in my everyday life.
One thing about living in the Pacific Northwest is that we have rain... lots of rain. The area I live in gets around 75 to 100 inches of rain each year. That makes for a lot of rainy days. I'm not a fan of punishment, walking in the pouring down rain is not something I do. But I needed my walk. So on one rainy day I popped into my DVD player a Leslie Sansone DVD. She has incredible “Walk at Home” videos. They are low impact and she is fantastic motivation. She has 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 mile DVDs. So.. that is what I do when the days are rainy. I even started doing them early in the morning over the summer. When the temps reach 90 and above walking outside in the heat is not something that appeals to me. So I would get up early in the cool of the day and walk, and walk, and walk.
Now here I am in January one year later. I feel so much more fit! I feel alive and love being active. We have gone through some nasty winter weather which is cold temps, brutal winds, snow and ice. Not the kind of weather that beckons me outside to walk. No worries. Yesterday I put in Leslie Sansones 5 Mile Mega Walk.. and did the whole thing. I did not die when I was done, in fact, I cleaned my house, did laundry and went to town with my hubby by the time the day was done. My steps were around 15,000 by the time the day ended.
I have strength where I never had it, I have endurance that I did not have one year ago, I have motivation to keep moving every day!
I will meet my fitness goals, I will reach my health goals, I am 'intent' (my word for the year) on continuing to make it happen this year!
I post this to encourage anyone who is struggling like I was with their health and fitness. You can reach your goals. It does not have to be a burden. You can be someone you did not know was inside of you. I've never looked at myself as a fitness type person, but today I do. And so can you. Remember my first goal when I started was simple... just MOVE... get up off the couch, walk away from the computer and do whatever I can to move my body.
As we age I'm seeing there are two things that must be given attention. The use of our minds and the use of our bodies. Be active in both mind and body is my goal as I walk through my 50's. I'll be 52 in a couple months and I know I can achieve my goals of being a fit person!