When walking feels more like swimming

Posted: June 19, 2012 in Exercise, Walking, Weight loss

It’s never a good sign for keeping cool when the best way to describe the air outside is to call it “chewy.” Currently, it’s 79 degrees and 84% humidity. I’ve gone for walks in worse, but usually when I have a shower waiting for me afterward, or at least dry clothes.

Days like this present a problem for me as I’ve started to like walking at work during my lunch break. Conventional wisdom says it’s better to eat your bigger meal earlier, so I’ve started eating my dinner during my first break, walking over lunch, then either another walk or a little reading over second break. As I don’t want to go back to work after a walk smelling like a locker room, I was torn between walking and not walking. It was at that time I recalled the words of exercise physiologist Ryan, who said that anything was better than nothing. So I took a shorter walk with an air conditioning break in the middle.

See, we’re fortunate to be located near a shopping center with a lot of big box stores. My goal is to get to the point that I can walk the entire perimeter of the shopping center in a half hour, hopefully without huffing and puffing too hard. Then, maybe get to the point where I can do it in 15 minutes. On the map to the right, the lines in red are today’s walk, the blue lines are the goal, and the pinkish ones are my farthest walks so far. I’ve tried to increase the distance walked each day, going to a different store as an easy way to mark distance, since iPedometer isn’t always accurate.

Today, I just went to Home Depot and wandered around, not really stopping, but doing a lap of the store to keep moving. It cooled me down so I wasn’t drenched by the end of the walk. It was nowhere near as nice as it was last night. The Management and I got a nice walk in, going from the parking lot to the concert and back. If you’ve ever been to the Philadelphia sports complex, it can be a hike, depending on where you are parked. Look at the map to the left… our path is in red. Since the weather was so nice, it wasn’t too bad.

Moral of the story, every bit helps. If you can’t get your full walk in, do some of it. If you don’t feel like it, tell yourself that you’re only going to do a little, then when you get to that point, you’ll probably want to keep on going. I know I usually feel that, mainly because I’m outside and don’t necessarily feel like going back to work after I’ve been out on a lovely evening.

Also remember, if you’re going to walk, be mindful of traffic. Cars don’t always see you, even if you’re a big galoot like me.

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