Day Two: Using a Pedometer
Miles Journeyed: ______________
Exercise Chosen: ______________
Spiritual Thoughts: _____________
A pedometer is a nifty little tool that counts each step you take. We use the pedometer as an easy tool to track all the things we do in our walk with Christ each day and subtract them from our various walking goals. The pedometer is not there to be a jockey whipping a horse towards the finish line; rather it is there to give you guideposts on how far you have gone toward the goals that you have set. You will get more comfortable with the pedometer the more you use it. Strap it on and take it for a whirl for a couple of days to find out how far you go in an average day. The minimum recommendation is 10,000 steps a day for heart health.
So how far did you go with your pedometer? Were you able to reach 10,000 steps? Did you fall short? That is okay. Falling short is all about being human. The trick is to pray about it and get up the next day and try again. I think every time a human tries a little harder, God smiles. If you are so far off 10,000 steps that you do not think you can commit to Christ Walk, I pray that you consider doing incremental goals. There are ways to “sneak” in extra steps to your day such as taking the stairs, parking at the back of a parking lot, walking to work or shopping or school. Consider taking three 10 minute walks instead of one 30 minute one and then gradually increasing as your endurance and enjoyment of the activity increases.
If you are walking 4,000-5,000 steps each day (which by the way, is the average American movement in one day), please start by a weekly goal of increasing your steps by 2,000 steps a day for a couple of weeks. If by the end of the 40 days you have trained yourself to walk 10,000 steps a day, you have made a marvelous transformation. Perhaps your next 40 day Christ Walk will be to complete one of the routes. And perhaps the one after that will be to go a longer route. Your Christ Walk is only as short as you limit yourself. If you never stop walking with Christ, then you never stop your Christ Walk.
While, I would again stress that this is NOT a diet, I do want to caution your understanding that 10,000 steps a day is the minimum requirement for cardiovascular health. That is heart health. That is how well your ticker keeps ticking. I am a big believer that I want my ticker to go as strong and hard as it can. I would like to maintain a level of high physical fitness as long as possible so that I can continue to do what I am called to do. If I do not take care of my heart, it is certainly not going to take care of me. I pray often that I am able to walk myself into my grave as I get older.
There is a difference between cardiovascular health and weight loss. Most individuals who use a pedometer for weight loss will have to log 12,000-15,000 steps each day. And they will have to watch what they eat. We will discuss food (and how much I love food) in a later chapter. But be advised as you start your goals and revise them, that there may be more steps needed to meet whatever goals you set for yourself.
While we do focus on steps per day as a part of Christ Walk, because of the analogy of physically walking with Christ, you do not have to be limited by walking. Walking is simply the most popular form of exercise, the easiest to do and the one exercise that people are most likely to stick with over time. I enjoy running, sometimes. I like biking, sometimes. I like walking, a lot of the time. I like swimming, sometimes. I like aerobic classes, sometimes, and I like weight lifting a lot. I want to write, “Pick your poison,” but that has a negative connotation. What I want you to do is pick something and do it. And if you have to pick a lot of ‘somethings’, that is okay as well. The point is to think about getting up and doing. Our bodies were designed to move and do.
Remember, every 15 minute block of physical activity is worth 1 mile towards your goal, or if you bike/run/swim/etc faster than a mile in 15 minutes, log the actual miles! Just move and log that time.
I am married to a lawyer, so of course I must insert the disclaimer that if you have never moved before or exercised, or set such a goal for yourself, please discuss with your healthcare provider to ensure that your physical safety is addressed. They can also be a partner in your journey as they are goldmines of health information if you ask! Develop your relationship with your healthcare provider and do not take “no” for an answer. Pursue them until you get the information you need. And if you are worried that your physical health will keep you from your journey, do not fear: I have had individuals with walkers and wheelchairs participate in the Christ Walk journey. Your trail is only limited by your imagination. Faith in God will keep you going along the way.
I also believe that mental and spiritual nourishment are very important to your journey. So for every 15 minute period of time that you are using to nourish your spirit and mind, log yourself a mile! Research has shown that people who meditate and pray have lower blood pressures and feelings of stress. This is all good towards taking care of the temple. So take credit for it! We also Christ Walk when we do for others. Volunteering is a great way to get bonus steps and every 15 minutes of volunteering is worth another mile. My only caveat is that this is designed for us to move and walk and think about our Christ Walk Daily. I encourage you to spend most of your miles in moving each day.
And when in doubt about how to move or what to do, pray.
Thoughts to ponder:
1. Where you able to start walking or Christ Walking as you had hoped?
2. If not, what were your barriers? Do you need help overcoming the barriers? Who can help you?
3. Did you feel rejuvenated by the experience of starting a new journey? If so, write it down, so it will help motivate you along the way.
4. How does the following scripture make you feel: Jesus said, “Everything is possible for one who believes.” Mark 9: 22-24