Monday, May 26, 2008

Seeing the World with a Pedometer

I am a person who drives out of necessity to get from place to place. It is a necessary evil.

What I really enjoy is getting out and walking around the area. I live in a nice community and there are quite a few interesting places within walking range. This is the good life in my opinion.

A number of years ago I started getting sharp pains in the calves of my legs when I would walk any distance at all. After having a doppler test on my legs I was referred to a vascular surgeon who had an MRA done to check circulation. Apparently the muscles in my legs were starved for blood when I exercised due to clogged arteries.

The doctor tried stents but that did not work and so I had bypass surgery in my right leg. To say the improvement is tremendous, would be an understatement.

Now I can walk again - the left leg is anything but perfect but I can live with it and that surgery is not something to be entered into lightly.

I was wandering around the area, just enjoying myself, when I got to wondering if I was actually doing enough for my cardiovascular health. I had read somewhere where there was a Surgeon General's report that said that insufficient exercise was the second-leading killer after smoking. That seems a little far-fetched, but when you do look at people with their physical problems it really is a problem.

Well, I was a technician and we used to do all the measuring stuff for the engineers and whoever. What I had to do was some measurements. I couldn't really measure anything except the time it was taking to walk to various places and one thing I don't do is walk consistently. That was how it was done in my army days, not now.

When I was a little kid I used to have a step counter. It wasn't very accurate but the price was right. Nowadays, they have some that will measure the speed you're walking at, how many miles you've gone, the calories you burn, and let you download all the data to your computer.

I also heard that walking 7000 to 10,000 steps is roughly equivalent to about a half hour of good exercise. So I decided to just get a simple modern day step counting only pedometer and see how that would work. When I did get it, for the first week I just measured my steps for the day to get the baseline for improvement. To make a long story short, I'm already at seven or 8000 steps. Apparently my job is a little more physical than I thought.

It is kind of nice though, knowing that it's 830 steps to walk around the block and 1370 to go to the store. Today for instance, a holiday, I only have 4070 for the whole day. I guess I should've gone for a long walk and not played so much with the computer.

I'm quite happy with the step only version of the pedometer. I will be using it quite a bit in the future. I do see that I have to be aware of the fact that days like today have to be dealt with. I really would like to increase my step count. I do actually feel quite a bit better when I walk more.

This is such a simple, enjoyable way to make yourself feel good.

Post a Comment