Next Fitness Challenge: 20,000 Steps a Day!

Me in 2012, showing off the first time I hit 40,000 steps, on the Courtois section of the Ozark Trail. I finished that day just over 45,000, which is still my record. 

Me in 2012, showing off the first time I hit 40,000 steps, on the Courtois section of the Ozark Trail. I finished that day just over 45,000, which is still my record. 

Time to get back on track! After taking it easy last week (all summer?), I'm giving myself a challenging goal this week - 20,000 steps a day. 

I've been using a Fitbit One for years to track my steps. My regular daily goal is 10,000, which I hit most days. My weekly average is almost always over 70,000 and sometimes right around 100,000. So I while I'm not doing too bad, but I'm not doing anything amazing, either. 

Fitbit shows you how you rank compared to your friends, both on the app and the site. Until recently, my friends list was cluttered up with people I didn't really know. Some of those people routinely got 200,000 steps in a week, or more. I don't know how they did that, but it seemed so not doable for me that I didn't feel any sense of competition. 

Starting a week or so ago, I've been weeding out all the people I don't know in real life, which left me with a much stronger sense of competition. I don't know if that makes sense, to feel more competitive with people I know than I do with strangers, but that's how I feel. For the first time, I really want to get to the top of that list!

Unfortunately, the person at the top right now is averaging 22,000 steps a day, but I'm betting (hoping) she can't keep that up for long. :) 

What does it take to get 20,000 steps? It equates to approximately 10 miles of walking. Hazel's short, standard dog walk gets me about 4,000. I can easily get 10,000 on a relatively short hike (4 miles or so - I think I take more steps on rougher terrain). Working an 8 hour shift gets me anywhere from 7 to 15,000, depending on what I'm doing.

Running would get me a lot more steps for my time invested, but I haven't been running at all lately. 

The first three days of the week I work early shifts, so I'll take Hazel out after work for however long I need to in order to reach 20,000. On my days off, I'll go hiking (Thursday and Friday, if anyone wants to tag along!). The last two days of the week, I have later shifts, so I'll take Hazel on a long (maybe 5 mile) walk before I go in. 

One thing I've learned with the Fitbit is that getting a lot of steps requires either being on your feet for a long time, like I am at work, or making a concentrated effort through exercise. Activities such as working around the house or shopping do get you some steps, but not as many as you might think. I certainly can't do enough cleaning and shopping to hit 20,000 steps in a day. 

Anyhow, that's my plan to reach 20,000 steps a day. We'll see if I can get there!

Week 49: Exercise - 20,000 Steps