Sunday, February 12, 2012

A Journey of 1000 Miles

The first person I ever heard recommend taking 10,000 steps per day was Dr. Oz. It actually didn't sound like that big of a deal at the time. Then I started working from home. I thought I had some idea about how much I walk in a typical day (mostly) within the confines of my own home, and I knew it wasn't 10,000 steps; it likely wasn't even half that.

Then several weeks ago, I started prepping my Disney guide for a friend, and I started looking up some numbers on how much people walk at Disney. I've seen various range estimates. Some say 4-8 miles (6.4 to 12.9 km), some say 6-12 miles (9.6 to 19.3 km); depends on who you read and sometimes which park you're talking about. I would guess that you do the least walking at the Studios, but I can't really guess as to which park takes the most. (I also imagine that it depends on where you park your car! LOL) I wonder how much we walk the way we typically do Disney? By the time I was done researching, I was intensely curious.

So, I bought a pedometer. (For anyone interested, I got this one.) It actually was not as expensive as I anticipated (I did get it on sale). It is also well reviewed on Amazon, with about 4.5 stars out of nearly 3500 reviews. It doesn't track every single step I take; I suspect no (affordable) pedometer does. If it's only 1-2 steps, it might miss it. But for anything over about 6-8 steps, they're tracked. As I suspected, on a typical day at home, my number is... um, not very high. In fact, it's only about 60% of what I guessed it was, and that was an awfully low number to start with. YIKES!

I actually did fairly well in terms of step count when I had to go to the doctor (large medical complex) and on our visit to IKEA, though still not even up to 5000. Other than that, it was kind of sad. So, I shall redouble my efforts, and see how long it takes me to make it to that 10,000 mark. And I'm strangely excited to see what it reads when we go to Disney! Given that it usually doesn't count if you only take a step or two, the number will likely even be under-reported, since you only take 1-2 steps at a time in some of the slow but constantly moving lines (like Buzz). Guess we'll see.

The title of this post, by the way, is not just metaphorical. It made me wonder how long it should take someone to walk that far during the "normal course" of their life. A year? Two years? What is reasonable, and how does that fit with the 10,000 steps? Hang with me, I'm going to do some math. Divide 1000 miles (1609 km) by 365 days, and you get 2.7 miles per day. 2.7 miles = 171,072 inches (4.3 km). Divide that by my stride length of 20 inches (51 cm, conveniently the lowest the pedometer can handle), and you get 8553.6 steps per day, not all that far from the recommended 10,000. Thus, in any given year, I should have walked at least 1000 miles! That actually kind of blows my mind. I think I just might make that one of my goals, if not for this year then next. Here's to my 1000 mile journey!

Currently feeling: let's go!

1 comment:

  1. Interesting post! I'll have to dig out my pedometer. I work at home too, so my number's going to be pretty low.


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