For my birthday this year, my husband bought me a wearable fitness tracker because I wanted to track my steps. Since the coronavirus lockdown started, I put on the Jillian Michaels ‘30 Day Shred’ video and sweat it out for 30 minutes first thing in the morning. In addition, my daily goal is to reach for 10,000 steps, even though I can’t leave my house due to the quarantine. I love walking and Pre-lockdown I used to walk the dogs and go for long walks and bike rides and now there are no outdoor walks except for a really short dog walk.
Why would I do something like this within my small living space?
1. No Exertion, No Sleep
If I spend all day being a couch potato and looking at my phone, napping and Netflixing, I won’t be able to fall asleep as easily at night. I sleep so much better when I’ve walked 10,000 steps and I get a good 7-8 hours of uninterrupted sleep.
2. Having A Routine Is So Much More Important During A Lockdown
My life is disrupted enough, with all the extra chores, no help, more meal cooking so I didn’t want to throw out all of my regular weekly routine on top of the huge changes I am already handling. Routines are great for staving off stress and worry, so I choose to hang on to as much of mine as I can.
Any exercise or movement is great for keeping your digestive system functioning smoothly. I eat light meals but even when I’ve had little more than I need to, I never feel heavy or tired because I’ve been walking.
4. Walking Makes Me Happy!
Endorphins = Happy hormones. Walking triggers endorphins and there’s no need for me to feel stuck inside and feel mopey!
I recently read in the paper that the apartment residents of Prestige Shantiniketan, Bangalore clocked a collective 500kms run all indoors. So, I was quite curious to see if it’s possible to walk indoors, if it was going to be boring. It’s not, this is my me time where I get to think, plan, review and gather my thoughts. I also put on this fun Netflix show called ‘Grace & Frankie’ and listen/watch while I walk. In between, I check and respond to messages on my phone. I haven’t tried reading on the move – will try and update this post for sure.
If you can take away five things from my experiment, I hope they will be:
- You can totally stay active while you’re indoors which is good news for all of us in lockdown.
- Movement is important for so many reasons – your heart, your brain, your sleep, your memory, your mood…. It’s not all about the calories you burn (that’s one of the least important parts)!
- Count the steps if you find it motivates you, but remember there’s nothing special about 10,000 steps. Set the goal that is right for you. It might be more, it might be less – or it might be throwing out your tracker entirely. The important thing is to keep active so whether it’s cleaning, cooking, standing and ironing clothes, gardening whatever it is – just don’t be a couch potato.
- 10,000 -the famous number that we all know we should reach. You might assume that this number has emerged after years of research to ascertain whether 8,000, 10,000 or maybe 12,000 might be ideal for long-term health. In fact, no such large body of research exists. The magic number “10,000” dates back to a marketing campaign conducted shortly before the start of the 1964 Tokyo Olympic Games. A company began selling a pedometer called the Manpo-kei: “man” meaning 10,000, “po” meaning steps and “kei” meaning meter. It was hugely successful and the number seems to have stuck.
- It takes ten minutes for every 1,000 steps walking at a brisk pace.