I’ve stopped obsessing over 10k steps/day

I’m kind of laughing because I gave myself the #blogeverydamnday in January challenge and it’s proving to be difficult especially now that I’m travelling. I definitely have spare time winding down in the evenings, but most of the time I just can’t be bothered writing. I felt the same for days throughout January that I was working from home. I just wanted to wind down but not spend time writing. However, I think it’s a good thing that a large percentage of posts this month came from me sitting there and thinking of something to write about—even if it was a small thing—and just writing my thoughts. These ideas came to me rather quickly, and I suppose naturally. They didn’t feel forced. It meant I didn’t have to feel like I was working so hard to find a topic to write about.

I have had other small reflections that I’ve shared throughout my posts and I will put them all together in a post at the end of the month. This post stems from one of the small ideas I had in my mind, and it’s about how I’ve noticed a change in how I view daily physical activity.

I identify as a bit of a gym junkie (some of my friends would say a huge gym junkie, though). I used to work out at the gym six times a week, but that has reduced to four. Most of my workouts at the gym are heavy strength training or powerlifting style, so my body does get put under a lot of stress and uses a lot of energy.

During the past couple of years of lockdowns and the pandemic meaning that gyms were closed, I resorted to trying to get my steps up. I must say, I got rather obsessive with trying to hit 10,000 steps a day on top of my workouts (which usually lasted anywhere between 45 and 90 minutes). I started walking to work and increasing that amount to 12,000, then to 14,000. How did I get these steps in, you might ask? I would walk on the treadmill before and after my strength training workouts, walked to work (50 minutes each way), and sometimes did extra walks in between, where I listened to audiobooks or just listened to music.

I don’t think I overworked myself. However, there were some days where I definitely felt pretty tired, both in my strength workouts and in general.

I had a bit of a shift in priorities over the past year. I started taking my workouts a lot more seriously, and some of my workouts became more taxing. I wasn’t doing very well at maintaining a good work/life balance, as I sometimes worked late hours. I would stress if I didn’t get 10,000 steps a day. La Niña didn’t really help when it made our summers wet and rainy, because it meant that all I could do was walk on a treadmill—and I hated that. But as I started to take my workouts more seriously, and log off work at 5:00 instead of working late, and allow myself sleep and rest when I truly felt like I needed it—and I took up skateboarding as a secondary “exercise”—I cared less and less about exactly how many steps I was taking. I felt well, I felt healthy, and I focused on what I was feeding my body as well as trying to get enough sleep and rest.

If there is an opportunity to walk and I feel fine to walk, then I’ll do it. For example, I only had 6,000 steps one evening (even though I had done a workout in the morning), but Nick and I decided to go for a walk and buy some things from the supermarket, instead of buying takeaway. It may have been a short walk, but I thought of it more in context of my day. I hadn’t done much moving around during the day, not even to do chores or cleaning, and my body did want to be active for at least a short period of time. There were times in the past that I recall making myself walk when I felt exhausted, just for the sake of getting 10,000 steps. I sometimes walked a couple laps around my apartment just to hit that number. It was ridiculous, and maybe not 100% accurately measured from my Apple Watch anyways.

These days I just don’t fuss. I pay less attention to it. Health, fitness, and activity is not necessarily defined by a number. I think it’s great to have something to aim towards, like 10,000 steps a day, but currently, my aim is elsewhere, and that’s to work on my strength in the gym, and keep getting stronger. And also ride on my skateboard and get better at it, without it feeling like a chore. 🛹

I’m blogging every day in January 2023. Let me know if you’ll be joining in and trying to blog every day. 😊 The hashtag you can use on social media is #blogeverydamnday.

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