June 11, 2012
The Pedometer Project
At a free talk I attended sponsored by a local arthritis clinic, they said we should walk 10,000 steps per day. They even gave us free little pedometers. I had a smashed arthritic knee, was awaiting surgery, and hadn’t walked much during all the years since I fell and injured it. 10,000 steps would have to wait.
A few weeks ago, I decided the time had come. I bought such a fancy pedometer, it took an employee of the shop to read the complicated instructions, set the date and time, and then ready it to record those important steps. I was ready!
Soon enough, I learned my oh-so fancy instrument doesn’t record how many rotations I do on my Exercycle, which I use daily. Nor does it record the gliding steps I take when I do Tai Chi (for balance). Okay, I noted that…. My aim? 10,000 steps a day. Not easy. What could I do to make my usual 4,000 to 7,000 steps increase to 10,000?
I’m not much of a TV watcher, but decided that whenever I do, each commercial break is a fabulous stepping opportunity. When one comes on, I haul my body out of the LazyBoy, up onto my feet, and march around my small apartment like a mad woman. Around and around I go, back and forth, ten steps this way and ten steps back in the living room, through the hallway into the office and then my bedroom around the bed, and back at a clip to the dining area, circle the table and chairs, and past the stove and fridge in the small kitchen. Then, I do it all over again until the commercials are over. Just picture it. Anyone seeing me would think me insane. However, I manage hundreds of steps if I move quickly.
I’ve discovered two things with this project. 1) Be careful what you wish for. You may get it. The first time I managed to achieve my goal of over 10,000 steps in a day, my knees ached so badly all night, I couldn’t sleep. I’m lowering my expectations for now. 2) Getting up and moving around during each commercial is a wonderful thing to do if you have arthritis. The stiffness I experience after sitting for awhile doesn’t happen if I get up and move around at commercial time. Yeah! That, in itself, is worth knowing.