My husband gave me a Fitbit for a holiday gift!
I’m so excited. Since I’ve been getting back into working out the past few months, I wanted something that could help me track my fitness goals. These little contraptions are a big difference from using old-fashioned stopwatches and fitness journals.
It can tell me how many calories I’m burning. It can track my sleep. It knows when I use the elliptical machine at the gym. It actually can monitor all my activities. Big Brother on a wrist. It also synchs with my phone and I get periodic emails about my progress. My family and I were laughing over the holiday when I got my first email from my watch!
While I think it’s amazing my new Fitbit can help me monitor my incoming calls and texts, and can alert me to emails and calendar notices, what I enjoy most about it is its most basic feature.
It tells me how much I’m walking.
And, in just 2 weeks of using it, I’ve learned that I’m not walking nearly enough.
I’m taking an average of about 6,000 steps a day. That’s just shy of 3 miles, and well below the recommended daily average of 5 miles of walking (about 10,000 steps). My level of walking puts me in the “low active’ category.
In order to see some tangible benefits from walking, in terms of fitness or weight management, I need to up my game, and get my walking level up to the “active” category.
If you’re new to exercise, or don’t enjoy it, have no fear. You can get some wonderful fitness benefits, including improved fertility, just from walking.
There are lots of reasons I love walking and think it’s awesome exercise for trying to conceive.
Walking is gentle exercise. The real beauty of walking is that you can be active in an easier, more natural way. Walking is arguably the most natural form of exercise since we’ve been doing it since before we can remember, and you can do it regardless of your current fitness level. While you don’t need to break a sweat to see some benefits, it’s important to walk at a normal and consistent pace.
Walking can also be fun and social. You can join a walking club in your community to hold yourself accountable for getting your walking in, or you can just call up a friend to go for a walk with you. While you’re walking, you can catch up on each other’s lives.
Walking helps nourish your reproductive organs. As I’ve written before, cultivating a healthy lifestyle can improve your chances of conceiving. Your uterus is the home of your future developing baby, so it’s important to keep your uterus healthy. You can do this by keeping blood flowing to the uterus, and keeping the uterine muscles strong. These are the muscles that will help you manage contractions when you’re in labor, and also help you push the baby out during delivery.
Sitting on the couch and being sedentary every day is not going to keep your uterus healthy. Humans are meant to move. Going out for a brisk 30-minute walk every day will help get your blood moving, improve circulation to your uterus, and work the uterine muscles. Walking also gets the pelvic floor moving, so it’s excellent for uterine health.
You don’t need fancy equipment to walk. Walking is truly the form of exercise that any able-bodied person can do. You don’t need to learn new fitness routines or new skills. You don’t need to sign up for a class. You don’t need to buy a gym membership. You don’t even need a Fitbit, although some sort of pedometer helps you keep track of how much you’re walking.
The only thing that you really need is a good pair of walking shoes, which you can get at any shoe store. Depending on how much you’re walking, your shoes will last you about 3-6 months.
You can actually lose weight from walking. Believe it or not, with all the sophisticated methods we have these days to help people lose weight – fancy diet plans, high-tech fitness equipment, and the like – plain old walking still packs a real punch in the weight loss game.
Let’s assume that the amount you’re currently walking helps you maintain your current weight. If you were to add just 4,500 steps a day to your current walking level, you’d burn an extra 300 calories a day.
This equates to about 2,100 calories a week and 9,000 calories a month. That’s about 2 1/2 pounds! Keep that up and you’d lose more than 30 pounds in an entire year! Add that to some healthy eating modifications and you can lose some serious weight – just from extra walking!
The key, though, is to do it consistently. An extra 4,500 steps a day is about day a 30-minute brisk walk which you could do in the morning, over your lunch hour, or in the evening after dinner – totally doable.
Walking can be meditative and restorative. Just as walking can be fun and social, it can be an amazing time to get personal with yourself. In fact, many people use walking as their preferred form of meditation. Though walking you can really be present in both your body and in the present moment. What an amazing gift!
Go for a walk in your favorite spot in nature and you’ll find that getting reflective is par for the course. And soon enough you’ll crave this time that becomes your wonderful journey into your own soul.
Ok, my Fitbit is telling me it’s been a while since I’ve walked so I need to get moving! Leave a comment below and tell me how you’re getting more steps into your life!