The funny thing about walking 10,000 steps every day is that I don’t lose weight doing it.  10K is a minimum recommendation after all.  But I’m healthier for having done it.  At the very least I’m not eating or drinking when I walk, so those calories float away.  But walking 10-12K isn’t going to burn a lot of calories.  I know from experience that if I’d rowed every day for the amount of time that I walked, I’d lose weight pretty quickly.  And with the holidays here perhaps I should be rowing more to get ahead of the calories.  But I like to walk and so I do it.  I feel the mild ache in the morning and know that I’ve been doing something positive.  Back when I rowed we’d call it the good kind of sore.  That rowing soreness was a whole body sore.  Walking is a different sore altogether, but still good.

I tend to walk early in the morning or late in the evening.  When you walk in the neighborhood in the middle of the day it turns into a chat instead of a walk.  At night the neighbors notice me walking as they drive by or call in their barking dog (thanks), and I carry a flashlight so they know it’s just me, walking again.  I give a wave and explain away this walking at night behavior with a generic “gotta get those 10,000 steps” statement, at which they smile knowingly.  Or maybe uncomfortably, as in just humor him and let’s move on.

Walking feels like forever only when I’m trying to check that 10,000 step box.  On the treadmill this is misery because it takes so long.  Walking outside I forget that I’ve got this goal of 10K and just walk, and it just happens.  There’s a lot to be said for being outside, when outside offers solitude anyway.  Yeah, there’s that too.  I’m a social being and enjoy walking with other people, but there’s a lot to be said for walking alone too.  I try to sort things out as I walk.  I assess my general health when I walk (Why is my heart racing going up this hill?  Too much caffeine?).  Or sometimes I don’t think about anything and just look at the stars and, this time of year, the Christmas lights in the neighborhood.  But mostly I walk, and feel better for having done so.  And isn’t that the point?