10,000 Steps & a Friendly Challenge

You probably know what this post is about from that title, right? Yep. Getting in 10,000 steps a day, or more realistically, on most days, is a goal of mine. As you know, I’m done with New Year’s resolutions, but goals, I have plenty of those. One of my goals is to increase movement, okay, in other words, to exercise more. But I prefer calling it movement, don’t you?

Over the holidays when son #1 was home for a visit, he mentioned he had an app for his phone which allowed him to track his steps. I know, I know. These apps and pedometer gizmos have been around for ages, but finally, this sounded like something I might like to try. And guess what? I like this type of motivation.

Besides, according to dear hubby, I’m always on my phone anyway (I don’t think it’s always, but… it is a lot of the time), so having this particular app makes perfect sense for a whole lot of reasons.

So far it’s helping.

We all know how important exercise movement is. Everywhere you turn, there is more and more evidence supporting the benefits. Recently the American Cancer Society and the American Society of Clinical Oncology released the Breast Cancer Survivorship Care Guideline to help breast cancer survivors and their primary care providers better manage their long-term care. Included in this guideline is the recommendation (among other things) to encourage breast cancer patients to be more physically active. The exact recommendation for physical activity is as follows:

It is recommended that primary care clinicians should counsel survivors to engage in regular physical activity consistent with the ACS guideline… specifically: (a) they should avoid inactivity and return to normal daily activities as soon as possible after diagnosis… (b) should aim for at least 150 min of moderate or 75 min of vigorous aerobic exercise per week….; and (c) should include strength training exercises at least 2 days per week and emphasize strength training for women treated with adjuvant chemotherapy or hormone therapy…

But as we all know, sometimes it’s not that easy to just do it. Sometimes we all need some motivation. Especially in the winter months.

I am no different.

So my brainstorm is to invite you, my dear readers, to join me in a 60-day step challenge. If you have a pedometer, an app, a Fitbit or some other kind of tracking device, why not join me in trying to get in a few more steps? (or whatever form of exercise movement you are up for) 10000 steps

And, of course, there is no need for you to set your goal at 10,000 steps a day. You can set your number of steps goal wherever you want.  It’s always best to start off slowly anyway, so a lower number might work better for you. Even a small increase in daily steps seems to make a difference. The point is to try to get in more steps than you are now, unless of course you’re already doing fine exercise-wise and don’t need to add more. If you’re more of say, a pool person, you can set your goal to be a certain number of laps or minutes in the water. Whatever works.

I will write a followup post sometime down the road and let you know how things are going and to see how you are doing as well.

Maybe we can motivate each other a little.

And sometimes a little helps a lot.

Who’s in?

If you do opt in, I suggest keeping a log. This will serve as a visual record, proof, motivation – whatever you want to call it. This is what I’m going to do anyway. Because yes, I have some accountability issues; maybe you do as well.

Do you have pedometer of some sort?

What’s your favorite way to get in movement and how are you doing with it?

Would you like to join me in this friendly challenge?


winter walk
Walking in the winter can be challenging. But it can be fun, too, once you’re out the door! And having a dog helps!

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28 thoughts to “10,000 Steps & a Friendly Challenge”

  1. Nancy, This is an excellent challenge. And you’re absolutely correct in using the terms movement and activity rather than exercise, which can turn people off. In my program that I told you about, it is heavily based on physical activity and comes with many suggestions for how to increase activity. I am going to send you a copy of the introductory module via email…

    1. Alene, I look forward to learning more about your program. Thank you for all you do to support cancer patients through every phase of their experience.

  2. I’m in. I decided I was going to walk 5 miles a day for the month of February to see if it would help with the highly annoying weight gain. (Thanks Aromasin.) So two months is even better – gets me closer to gardening season!

    1. Cathy, Wow, five miles a day is an impressive goal! Good for you. I’m on Aromasin, too, so I hear you on that weight gain thing… ugh… And yep, two months definitely gets us closer to spring, in this hemisphere anyway.

      1. Nancy – 5 miles sounds much more impressive than it is – according to my fitbit, it’s only around 10,500 steps!

        1. Cathy, I know, right? According to my app 10,000 steps is only about 3.5 miles. Of course, everyone’s setting will vary depending on height, stride length, etc. The thing I’ve been surprised by is the number of steps that accumulate merely when walking around the house more. So I guess all that advice we’ve heard for years about parking far away, etc make a lot of sense!

  3. I’m in and good for 10,000 steps. Between feeding horses, walking and using my elliptical trainer, a friendly challenge is just what I need. I am starting today!

  4. Nancy, I am trying to do the same! Are you using a Fitbit? I started using one in November and I really like it. Like Julie’s, mine communicates with my smartphone. I also have it set up so that it communicates with my Weight Watchers’ account where it automatically records my activity points.

    1. Elizabeth, No, I am using an app on my phone which was free and easy to set up. And wow, you’re really making good use of technology. Good for you! Thank you for sharing.

  5. Count me in. I have my trusty fitbit zip to count for me. I have even figured out how to do “house laps” when I can’t get outside or when I am on the phone. If I’m folding laundry which is not one of my favorite things to do, I take each item as it is folded and put it away in its proper place. Amazing the number of steps you can get in. Also helps if I am listening to a good book on my iPod in the process.

    1. Betty, Oh my gosh, that is an amazing way to fold laundry. That takes real commitment. I’m not sure I could do that and stay sane. lol! I am pretty amazed at how many steps I accumulate, too, by just walking around the house more – which means less time sitting in front of my computer. The steps do add up faster than I expected, well, on some days anyway. Thank you for joining in on this challenge, Betty.

  6. I’m in!

    I’ve used a pedometer for about 6 years, recording my daily results in a little notebook from the beginning. I don’t always hit >10,000, but I do most days and the combination of the pedometer and the notebook have certainly kept me motivated. My husband’s now hooked on his pedometer, too, although he’s not as obsessive as I am about tracking the numbers.

    Our region is rainy and grey in the winter and spring. I do park at the far end of parking lots, walk as much as possible when doing errands, etc., but hiking, etc., just isn’t a pleasure at this time of the year. I rely a lot on my stationary bike, workout DVDs and my treadmill. I used to love water aerobics, too, but don’t have a convenient class locale anymore.

    The benefits for me aren’t just physical but also an increase in mental energy, stress release and a little bit of smugness, too, if I’m honest about it. Of course, none of this helped me avoid cancer, so there is that…

    Thanks for starting this, Nancy; I’m ready for a project that doesn’t involve taxes, the stack of papers on my desk or too many decisions!

    1. Julia, Wow, six years! Good for you. I find the notebook handy too. I use a daily planner. Our region can be quite frigid during winter months and sometimes it’s really hard to get out the door. Once I do, I usually enjoy the walk, especially when taking Sophie, our springer. We have a treadmill, too, which is a nice backup to have when I just can’t force myself to face the cold. And you’re so right about all those added benefits which are so important. I tell myself it’s not even about weight control. It’s more about general well-being and taking time for me. Thank you for sharing and for joining in!

  7. What a great way to help ourselves and support one another! I am a little obsessive some days about my step #, but it does serve to motivate me. I look for ways to add more steps-at home, at work, at the store. And it’s an added benefit that the physical exercise can help us mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. Endorphins are free and very effective. You know I like the idea of gratitude practice too . . . and so I take gratitude walks some days. I walk trying to be more aware of nature around me, or I pick a sense to focus on-sight, sound, smell-and try to focus on that. Besides, I get crabby when I can’t exercise. So when cancer treatment got in the way, I looked forward to the days I could get back to even a short walk down the block. A step at a time . . . can add up to 10,000 or whatever your goal is. Onward!

    1. Lisa, I love your idea of gratitude walks. That is a great way to make walking even more productive and meaningful. During cancer treatment I looked forward to my short walks, too, even when they were just down the block a ways and back. And you’re so right, one step at at time. They do add up. As always, thank you for your supportive comments. Onward indeed.

  8. Nancy, this is a great idea. And I love how you call these (exercises) “movements”. It makes them sound a lot more doable, especially to a lazy person like myself. I have to admit, I stopped “moving” after I received my diagnosis. I was an athlete and got sick anyway — I know this isn’t the right mindset to have. I agree exercising is very important and I am often told that it can contribute to my survival rate (as you also stated). I don’t own a smart phone (I know, I know..) but I can track my steps in other ways. My guy has a stopwatch I can use.

    I try walking a lot instead of taking transportation. I also move around a lot at home. Playing with pets can sometimes be a rewarding workout. Count me in!!

    1. Rebecca, I certainly don’t think you’re lazy. Sometimes it’s not that easy to ‘just do it’. Believe me, I know. I imagine you can get in a lot of walking living and working where you do. And yes, playing with pets can sometimes help us be more active, and it benefits the pets too! Thank you for sharing and participating when and how you can.

  9. Nancy,

    You have inspired me! I’ve had pedometers, Fitbit wannabes, and all kinds of gizmos that track my activity (I kind of feel like one of those tagged wild animals one sees on TV!). I think I’m done with those, but your post has pushed me to challenge myself to 5 exercise days per week. The exercise (movement) will vary, but it will be a worthwhile activity!!

    Thank you for this post. 🙂

    1. Beth, Well, we always hear changing things up works best, so varying your type of movement is a great idea. Having a daughter at a very busy, active age undoubtedly keeps you moving more than you even realize. Thank you for reading and good luck with the challenge. I’m inspired by all of you.

  10. I did it! With my good old pedometer, thank you! I needed the challenge and the company. Here’s to tomorrow – Linda

  11. Hi, Nancy –

    I LOVED Beth’s comment about feeling tagged like a wild animal; I’ll never look at my pedometer the same way again 🙂

    I’ve been about 90% consistent in hitting at least 10K per day. I’ve been trying to change things up, too, which definitely helps. Better weather helps a lot in that regard; it feels great to be able to walk outdoors without an umbrella and to get out in the garden again – YAY!

    I hope everyone else is shaking off winter weather, too.

    1. Julia, I loved Beth’s comment too. Wow, 90% consistency is terrific! I haven’t done that well. I am so ready for warmer temps so I can not ‘dread’ going out the door so much. Spring definitely is the great encourager. Thank you for sharing.

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