Well maybe not THAT many! (Sorry that very annoying song is now stuck in your head). But I would love to walk at least 5 miles a day…and I was many of the days that my older two were at school. However, it is officially summer break so I am having to rethink my daily mileage goals.
How much do you walk in a day? And I don’t mean walking around your house or to and from the bathroom at work or what your pedometer says that you walk. Nothing wrong with those “steps”…I am just curious how much you walk for exercise and errands/commuting combined.
Most Americans don’t walk nearly enough (with some exceptions like the Amish). Part of this is because many of our livelihoods involve sitting hours at a desk and we no longer need to walk long distances to hunt and gather food. Scientific estimates of how far hunter-gatherer populations walk range widely but research suggests a daily average of 3.7 to 9 miles. The average American only walks 2.5 miles per day total (and that total is adding up every little step for the day not just “walks”). So what to do? And what am I going to do this summer?
Little changes in your routine can make a big difference. Our summer plans include having a quick light breakfast of fresh fruit then heading out for a walk all before really getting our day started. Then we will coming back for a “second” breakfast and morning chores, etc. Yes, neighbors, this means I might look even more haggard than usual. Sorry, I’ll try not to scare your dogs. Depending on what we have going on that day, we might take another walk when the baby needs a morning nap. Certainly most days we will take a walk to either a local park, library or errand after the morning or afternoon nap/rest. With these two/three walks a day my kids and I will easily get in an extra 2 miles walking outside.
What can you do to change your routine to walk more? One easy thing is rethinking what is in “walking” distance. Our local coop is only .5 mile a way…yet I am the only one I know who walks there. There’s an extra bonus, too! My coop gives a 5% walker’s discount!! Fresh local organic veggies at a discount AND exercise all wrapped up together = awesome-sauce! Ask your local coop or other favorite local spots if they have a similar discount. Many will have a Bicycle Benefit discount at least and hopefully will show parity to walkers. Another idea is when meeting a friend for coffee rather than sitting in the inviting cozy chairs, ask for a to-go cup and walk as you sip and chat. That hour you were going to spend sitting is now 3 miles walked. Other ideas? What have you done to walk more?
For local Twin Cities people: http://mplsbikelove.com/forums/topic/bicycle-benefits-program-in-minneapolisst-paul