June Update on my 1200 km Walking Goal–Just beyond the 500 km mark!

Setting a personal goal, and working towards it, gives you a feeling of accomplishment. Check out my progress on my 1200 km walking goal.

I didn’t do as much walking in June as I did in May, but I still walked 25 times. All of my walks were outside, except for one which I did on my treadmill. 

June distance: 99.1 km.

Scroll down to see my yearly total, to date.

In early June, I felt really energized, so there were a couple of occasions when I just felt like running, so I did. The second time, I ran 5.54 km without stopping!

It’s not my goal to run my 1200 km this year; my goal is to walk. However, I’ve learned to listen to my body, so if it wants to run, then running is what I’ll do.

My walks were varied and some more interesting than others. I walked in the woods, in my neighborhood, and one day I got a second walk in just as night was falling.

I bought a set of walking sticks to try them out. I liked them because I felt I got a better arm workout as I was moving. I’ve only used the sticks once, so I’ll have to try them more before I know if I really like them or not.

I feel so satisfied and have a true sense of accomplishment when I set a goal and then actually work towards it (as opposed to the initial excitement of a new goal, followed by procrastination). Even if there was a lull in my progress, like during the three days in a row I didn’t walk, I just kept at it.

Instead of looking at those three days as a failure and letting them turn into 5 or 10 days, and possibly giving up on my goal and giving up on me, I jumped right back into my runners and walked.

One of the things that holds us back from achieving our goals is we don’t do them as perfectly as we envisioned. Then we feel like a failure.

At least, that’s often the way it’s been with me.

Although my publicly stated goal is for the entire year, my unspoken goal has been to walk every day! Is that reasonable and doable?

It is, in the sense that waking is easy to do, but in another sense, our lives get busy and we make excuses, so maybe walking everyday is not as doable as I thought.

What might be a more sustainable goal is to try to walk 3-5 days a week. That way, if I walk 3 days…great; I met my goal. If I walk 5 days, that’s even better. If I walk those magical 7 days, well, then I’m a superstar!

But let’s get real for a minute. Life gets in the way sometimes, so I intentionally made my walking goal a yearly one instead of a weekly one. I don’t want to worry about how many walks I do in a week.

I want to look at my overall walking as a bigger picture, as a bigger lifestyle change. I can walk as often as I like, and I can walk for as short or as long a distance as I like. It doesn’t matter if I miss a day or two. I just need to keep moving and keep working toward my goal.

My 2021 yearly goal of 1200 km not only keeps me moving; it creates a personal challenge. When I get to Dec. 31 this year, I’ll have something to celebrate, even if I don’t meet my precise goal. It’s a win-win for me!

walking goal

Here’s where I’m at with my 1200 km goal:

   99.1 km June

154.43 km  May (I killed it this month!)

48.87 km  April

 33.85 km  March (10-day water fast from March 20-29, so less walking)

 50.36 km  February

122.13 km  January (high number due to initial dedication and interest)

2021 distance total is 508.74 km. Woo hoo!

I’m past the half-way mark in terms of time (6 months), but I’m not quite at the half-way point for kilometers yet. I’ll keep working on it!

Before I sign off, I’d like to take a moment to congratulate you on any progress you’re making with your own body-movement goals. Even if you’re just at the stage where you’re considering a goal, bravo for you!

Be HEALTHY (Healthy Eating And Living Transforms and Heals You),

My 1200 Km Walk (and first update)

An audio version of this post is available on Anchor.

I set a goal on January 1, 2021 to walk 1200 km this year (about 746 miles).

By “walk”, I mean a walk outside or on a treadmill (NOT steps in a day).

I’m doing this because I am more aware than ever, the importance of regularly moving my body. As of this post, I’m just a few days shy of my 56th birthday.

With a breast cancer diagnosis last year, and as my body starts to reveal signs that I need to treat it better (extra weight, sore joints), I’ve opened my eyes to the need to have regular physical activity, AND to try to take as many of my walks as possible outside in the fresh air.

To reach my 1200 km goal for this year, I need to walk an average of 100 kms a month, although I know I’ll walk more in the warmer months and less in the winter.

As of May 14, I’ve walked 309.31 km (192.2 miles)! I’m pleased with my progress and my commitment.

Walking is one of the BEST ways to move your body. I really believe that almost anyone can move closer to health and an ideal body weight just by adding walking into their life.

Walking can be perfect for anyone who hasn’t been active on a regular basis. It’s just one foot in front of the other.

Not only that, walking is actually like going on a personal retreat. We could all use one of those, right? Check out my big list of reasons to see why walking is one of the best and easiest ways to get your body moving.

If you know you need to move your body more, give walking a try. Start with shorter walks (15 minutes) and, over time, build up how long and far you walk.

If you walk in the right spots, you just might be treated to the lovely sounds of birds or the quiet tread of a deer.

Stay tuned for my next update (roughly the middle and end of each month). 🙂

Be HEALTHY (Healthy Eating And Living Transforms and Heals You),

Personal Walking Retreat

Walking is an easy way to exercise. It’s YOU time that can be your own personal retreat.

I’ve been working at making walking a daily habit, but wait a second.

Walking is NOT work.

As human beings, we’re designed to move. We’re not put together in a way that means lying in an awkward posture on a couch for 4 hours watching Netflix is normal. 

Ok, couch lounging might feel natural, but it isn’t! We HAVE to move our bodies for our health. Or we’re going to end up immobile and needing lots of help when we get older. Body movement doesn’t have to be walking, but it also doesn’t have to be tortuous exercise routines you don’t enjoy.

Over the last 4 months, I’ve been able to get outside walking on a regular basis. I started doing it for my health, and now I do it because of the many benefits.

So why do I think walking is THE way to get moving if you’re not used to being active? 

For Almost Anyone: Unless you’re in a wheelchair or are bedridden, you can walk. Even if you’ve just had surgery, or you need a cane or walker, you can walk. Just take it easy if you have mobility issues. If your vision is poor, or you need some kind of support, arrange a regular walking time with someone you trust. If you don’t have any physically-limiting concerns, you can walk. I went for a 2 km walk the day after I had a lumpectomy and sentinel node biopsy (they took three lymph nodes). Minor surgery compared to most, but I didn’t want my walking habit to be derailed.

Uber Easy: Put on a pair of shoes and step out the door. 

No Cost: Use what you have for now to get your butt out the door. If you want to buy better quality runners as you develop your walking habit, then go for it, but don’t use I-don’t-have-the-right-shoes as an excuse.

Personal Retreat: This is really key. Walking can be that one time in the day for YOU. Escape your day. Do with it what you want. Think over a problem and some possible solutions. Use the time to get energized with a playlist you love. Groove to your moves. Get informed or entertained with a favorite podcast. Listen to an audio book you’re enjoying. Walking is freedom, not work.

De-stress: We’re loaded up with stress these days, and we all need some down time. Away from work, away from household tasks, away from family obligations and away from people. Some like to walk with their friends, and that works too, but for me, I like time to myself to decompress. Going for a walk can be a great way to cool down after an argument too.

Feels Good: Once you get walking, your body livens up and energizes you. When you move your body, you feel good. If you feel tired, or even drained, you might be surprised at how walking will get your juices flowing. If you deal with any kind of depression, give walking a try.

Fresh Air: Whenever possible, choose walking outside over a treadmill walk or a walk on an indoor track. Indoor walking is better than no walking, but getting the fresh air is a bonus. Humans weren’t intended to live inside buildings 24 hours a day. We need to breath in fresh air for our lungs. Walking allows you to get lots of fresh air.

Vitamin D: By getting outside, you can get nature’s medicine through sunshine (even if it’s cloudy, the sun’s rays are getting to you somewhat). There’s always some article reminding us that we need more Vitamin D, especially the kind that doesn’t come in a bottle. If there’s too much sun, wear a hat and sunglasses to protect yourself from excessive UV rays.

Nature Delivers: Aside from fresh air and sunshine, walking gives you a connection to nature. Try to walk in an area with trees, plants and grass, or even better, in a park or forest. Many of my walks are in a nearby forest where I can hear the trees swaying in the breeze and where I sometimes spot a deer or rabbit. Often, I walk in my neighborhood though, to save time. I’m still among beautiful trees and can look at lawns and gardens along my way. Even if you’re in a dense urban area, look for signs of nature to enjoy: plants, peoples pets, birds and glimpses of blue sky.

Decide your Distance: Start where it feels right. Don’t overdo it. If one block is all you can walk, then no problem. Build up to two and three blocks. Maybe you’re a little more limber and you want to start with 2 km. Go for it and build up to 5 km. It’s up to you. Vary your distance. Do a faster 3 km walk one day, and a slower 5 km walk another day. There are no rules. Do what feels right each time you go for your walk.

Take your Time: You can fit your walk in during the morning before you shower and head to work. You can fit it in during your work day. You can do it as soon as you get home from work, or you can try an after-dinner walk. You could do two 10 minute walks or a single 20 minute walk. It’s all up to you.

Pick your Pace: Start out slowly and build to a faster pace. If you have a Fitbit or other tracker, use it to track your pace. It is super-motivating to see how your pace improves. 

No Excuse: Walking is the perfect no-excuse way to move. Make walking a non-negotiable, time-for-you habit.

If you haven’t yet discovered the amazing benefits of walking, give it a try for one week. Aim to walk for at least 10 minutes daily for seven days. See how it feels.

Maybe you’ll decide walking is not for you, but maybe…you end up walking for much longer and discover a new love.

Be HEALTHY (Healthy Eating And Living Transforms and Heals You),

SignatureAli