Walk My Way to Health – Getting My Steps In By Tracking My Walk
If you’re like me and just starting out on your fitness journey, there’s nothing better than taking a long walk on a beautiful day. That’s exactly what I did today. I managed to get my 10,000+ steps (actually 12,600) covering 4.8 miles. Not too shabby.
One of my favorite apps for tracking my walks is Runkeeper (free app). Runkeeper isn’t just for running (I’m not that advanced yet), it can be set to record walks. The app uses the GPS on your phone and plots your route, which you can see on the app at the end of your walk or on the Runkeeper website when you set up an account. Additionally, you can share your walks and routes on social media. It’s great motivation when your friends give you kudos for getting in some activity.
At the end of your walk, Runkeeper will give you the number of miles you walked (or ran, whatever), your time, pace and how many calories you burned. At right is a screen grab from a walk I did on Sunday, February 19th. It was a beautiful day in NYC, up to 65°F. Inside the app is a coach who gives you encouragement at intervals you set, say every 15 or 30 minutes. You can select which stats your coach will tell you from a choice of the elapsed time, distance, average pace, average speed, current pace, current speed, split pace, split speed (sorry, I don’t know what those are), average heartrate, current heartrate and heartrate zone. I have my coach set to tell me the time, distance and average pace every 30 minutes. The coach comes in five different personas: Kat, Drill Instructor, Mademoiselle (a French female who is kind of funny) is the one I use, Your Conscience, and Boston Fan.
Runkeeper is among those apps that have a large community and there’s a good chance you will find one or two of your friends using the app.
Get Out There and Walk!
Starting a walking program is easy and can be fun. For the first week, just take a couple of 10 or 15 minute walks. You’d be surprised how quickly those short walks turn into half hour walks. Don’t do hill if you don’t want to. Save those to challenge yourself further into your program. Walk around the block, walk to the store, walk to a friend’s house a quarter of a mile away (1/4 of a mile isn’t that far). Just walk. Don’t forget to wear your FitBit and turn on your RunKeeper app.