The First Step – The Talk
Recently I have been intrigued by exercise early in the morning before most Tokyoites are out and about. I was getting too caught up in being too busy with work and realized that although our mission at Northstar Fitness is to help people achieve the highest level of mindset, health, fitness, and lifestyle that they desire, I was not keeping my fitness on point. So I thought of ways to remedy this.
The Second Step – The Walk
I found that walking with my wife, for about 20-30 minutes was a perfect approach. Here’s why:
- When I walk with my honey it is at a pace that we are able to hold a normal conversation. We talk about life and there is no computer screen, cell phone, book, food or whatever in front of us. Just the road, sidewalk, a few people and cars here and there. It’s a great way to communicate. It’s also a great opportunity to hold hands.
- It gets us out in the morning sun or rain communing with as much nature as possible, which has been proven to set our daily circadian rhythm for deeper sleep in the evenings. See this short article, by Dr. Chatterjee 4 Simple Tips to Help You Sleep for a few tips on better sleep.
- Walking is an exercise that is kind to the joints, gives excellent cardio benefits and is just so easy.
- You can give kids or even adults a ride on your shoulders or back to increase the enjoyment for the rider and the strength and cardio gains for the walker.
The Third Step – Making it a Daily Habit
We found this to be a very enjoyable habit that brings energy to the rest of the day. Some people view exercise as something that requires time that they feel they need to spend on other things; however, I see intelligent exercise, such as walking, as an investment that pays dividends by increasing focus, decreasing emotional and mental stress and adding a sense of accomplishment that you are taking your health into your own hands.
The Fourth Step – Tracking Your Progress For Fun
The recent trend in health is Health Tracking. I can see how it can get out of hand, as I generally err on the side of minimalism, but I do find it fun to quantify my efforts and gamify fitness a bit. If you have an iPhone, and you want to track your steps, you can use a simple app called Health. You can see the specifics of how to track your steps in Tip 6 in the Health link above. I have found that when I walk at a solid pace, I get approximately 1,000 steps per 10 minutes, so in order to walk 10,000 steps, it would take about 100 minutes (an hour and 40 minutes) for me to log in that many steps per day. I’m sure that I could ‘step it up’ a bit, to make it an even 90 minutes. This could easily be done with a 3 x 30-minute walk approach throughout the day: 30 minutes in the morning, 30 minutes in the afternoon and 30 minutes before or after dinner.
In all honesty, I only walk 10,000 or more about once per week, on my day off. Because I am strength training 4-5 days per week, I feel that I am getting plenty of exercise and I enjoy it more than going for long walks.
The Fifth Step – Start with 5 Minutes Out and 5 Minutes Back
My suggestion to my clients who don’t deliberately practice walking each morning, is to wake up 10 minutes earlier than usual, have water, tea or coffee, set their timer on their phone for 5 minutes and walk in one direction. When the timer goes off, they come back home and they are done. I suggest that they listen to a favorite Audible book, podcast or songs that make them feel good. If they want to be more natural, of course, they can just walk and enjoy the sounds of nature and the world around them. Mantras are also good during walking as the walking sets up a very nice rhythm through tempo and the sounds of footsteps. These mantras don’t need to be esoteric or based on spiritualism or religion, they can be as simple and fun as “I love to exercise.” Or “I am magnificent.” Or “A – LO – HA:-)” Being creative with these is a lot of fun in itself.
The Last Step – Enjoy Ramblin’!
If you are looking to feel better, sleep deeper and just know, intuitively, that moving a bit more is healthy, please implement walking into your day. 10,000 steps is a very nice goal, but I believe that even 10-20 minutes anytime during your day will make a beneficial and noticeable difference in your life.
Thank you for reading.
Have a lovely day and enjoy some Allman brothers♫
Bodhi the Ramblin’ Man