My 10,000 Steps a Day Experiment is Already Awesome!
I am trying a new experiment! It’s winter and gross outside, and I’ve been in a slump lately exercise-wise. I’ve done lots of different things in the past, from yoga to dance classes to the Couch to 5K running program. I couldn’t get myself to do ANYthing. I needed something super gentle just to get me started moving again, so I downloaded a pedometer app on my phone.
I didn’t expect the app to instantly pull “movement data” from my phone for the past week.
I thought I would be starting with a blank slate, but no. The app showed me how much (or rather how little) I have been moving. It was a big WTF moment for me. I knew I had been taking it easy lately, but I was aghast by that little bar graph.
To be fair, it’s how much I have moved while having my phone on me, so I had probably moved slightly more. However, even adjusting for that, I had been way too sedentary. I immediately felt motivated to get my step count up.
It is working! I have already started changing habits.
In times that I would normally just sit and wait, I have been walking laps. When I was bored, I went and walked around the yard instead of messing around on my phone. And when, after several days of little changes didn’t get me to my goal, I actually got on the treadmill and walked while watching TV until I hit 10,000 steps.
The actual tool I am using has also had a huge unexpected benefit.
Normally, I am constantly fighting the compulsion to “check” my phone. Now, that impulse is satisfied by checking the pedometer app, and it is actually helping me stay off social media and other time wasters. Instead of feeling gross after interacting with my phone, I am feeling motivated to move my body, go outside, and definitely not scroll. Awesome!
The number 10,000 is kinda making my life magical.
I looked up a little bit about the 10,000 steps idea, and there’s a lot of articles that will tell you that the number is arbitrary and made up in the 1960s by Japanese marketing ploy to sell pedometers. However, this did not dissuade me. In fact, it made me really excited. I know that in Asian cultures 10,000 is an important number. From what I understand about Taoism and Buddhism, 10,000 is the number that signifies all things. I did a little more digging, and according to the Internet, it is also significant other cultures and even our word English word “myriad” literally means 10,000 because it comes from the Greek word “myrias.”
So instead of making me feel stupid or random for trying to walk 10,000 steps a day, I feel something magical afoot. Something universal. Like when I am taking my 10,000 steps, I’m walking in the world of all things, processing them, maybe even seeing through the illusion that anything is separate. Letting all 10,000 steps make me feel whole, make me feel one.
I found a cool blogger who did a 30-day 10,000 step challenge on his blog The Monk Life. He said sharing his challenge on his blog helped keep him motivated and accountable, so I thought that instead of waiting until the end of the experiment I would go ahead and share.
If you want to join me, just download a Pedometer app or get a cheap pedometer and let me know that you’re doing it. I would love to cheer each other on!