The Downside to Walking 20,000 Steps Every Day

What do a volleyball tournament, strategic planning meeting, and a haircut have in common? All three happened last week during this 20k One Year Step Challenge. It was Week 29 of getting 20,000 steps every day for a year with no breaks.

The common thread for each of those three things is I had to sit. Obviously, when I’m sitting I’m not adding steps to my new Fitbit Inspire HR (read a review of the first week I used it HERE). But, that’s actually not the downside to having a daily goal of 20,000. The downside is I don’t sit well. At all.

Reaching 20k requires a little less than four hours of walking every day. I never do that all at once. I’ve learned how to find lots of little pockets of time to get all those steps. It only takes 10-minutes to walk 1,000 steps. If you find enough of these opportunities throughout your day you can really supersize your step count and move even closer to fitness. I’ve put together a free guide of 57 Ways to Add 1,000 Steps to Your Day to help you find some of these opportunities.

I have learned how to navigate around the parts of my day when I have to sit. That’s not the issue…I can always find time to move even when I have meetings or a day long volleyball tournament. If I need less than four hours of walking to reach my target, I still have plenty of time for sitting.

No, the bigger issue is staying engaged when I have to sit because I simply don’t sit well anymore. I feel better when I’m moving. And, when I’m moving I’m actually more engaged. And, I have found ways to not sit when I need to focus on something.

For example…

I stand in the studio while we are on the air each morning. I can move around and I’m more focused on the show. Ava and I often go for walks together. Our conversations are better.

I write a lot of these blog posts while I’m walking. I come up with the general idea and the points I want to make while I’m moving and then sit at my computer to put my thoughts “on paper”. In other words, I can’t sit and stare at a blank computer screen and wait for inspiration. None would come.

I no longer sit and watch a movie from beginning to end. For me it’s Netflix and Walk…Netflix and Walk…Netflix and Walk. I love the ocean. Guess how long I can sit in a beach chair before getting up to walk? I used to hate commercial breaks when I watch sports on TV. Not anymore. They have become opportunities to move.

To be candid, there is a serious downside to not sitting well. I struggle during long meetings. That’s not fair to my colleagues. I don’t travel well if it requires a long flight. Our son lives in Perth, Australia and we have not visited. The 24 hours of flying has been one of the road blocks for me.

Let me push pause for a moment.

This idea of not sitting well may actually not sit well with you. I get that. No one aspires to growing misery watching a movie or the desire to escape meaningful conversation that requires long periods of sitting. I hate my diminished capacity for taking a plane someplace far away.

But, here’s the thing. I believe there’s a greater takeaway that exists in the gap between “don’t make me move” and “don’t make me sit”.

The beginning of every fitness journey is difficult. And, that difficulty consistently increases as we get older. I haven’t always wanted to move more than I wanted to sit. There was a time, in the not too distant past, where sitting was a pretty high priority for me. It felt better. And, the more I sat, the more I wanted to sit. Kind of funny how it works that way.

Once I got serious about fitness ten years ago I started pushing myself to move more. I started small, but slowly and gradually did more and more. And, without knowing exactly when the pendulum swung the other way…the more I moved, the more I wanted to move.

In other words, it gets easier.

That’s the real takeaway. If you start small, keep going, and gradually increase it really does get easier. Fitness grows and the result is you feel better when you move more.

Do you want to Win at Fitness? It’s not easy, but it is possible! Goal 20,000 Steps can help with articles that will inspire and guide you to success. If you click the FOLLOW button (below on your phone…to the right and above if you’re on a computer) you’ll get each article sent right to you the moment it is published.

You really can Win at Fitness! We’ll help you get there One Step at a Time

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