1. Aim to walk 100 to 125 miles
2. Do something active every day for 5 minutes
3. Set aside 15 minutes 3 days a week for yoga
4. Buy trainers for exercise class
5. Go to at least 4 exercise classes
So far each month I have set myself targets but there was no concrete goal until Simon and I planned to do the Cuckoo Way, along the Chesterfield Canal, in May (46 miles in two days) and my friend Caroline and I opted to walk the Preston Guild Wheel at the start of June (21 miles in 2 days, a little easier!)
Would this make me more motivated?
I walked a total of 103.7 miles this month, beating my lower target of 100 miles – the first time I have done it this year!
Walking to work and during lunchtimes (3 miles in total), walking the family dogs, walking to the leisure centre and counting Zumba steps, walking into the city centre, a Wicklow Mountain walk in Ireland, a walk to my local Woodland Trust Wood, Mason’s Wood, pictured below (3 to 4 miles), walk to my local shop (1 mile)… Most of these were short but they were more frequent than before. And I think my planned Chesterfield Canal walk spurred me on to do more.
The doing something active for 5 minutes was successful. Either walking to work, walking the dogs, walking up and down stairs 10 or 20 times… For the most part, I did something.
The yoga, once again, was on and off. There were mornings when I did the Tree and Sun Salutation but I confess there were many more when I didn’t do anything.
Despite having the time (it was only 15 minutes), I kept putting it off until it was completely forgotten.
Well, I did buy trainers for exercise classes so that was one thing done. Not the best pair but they will do for now.
I went to Zumba at my local leisure centre twice. It was the first time I’ve been back to Zumba after a long break of about 6 months. When I first went it was incredibly popular as it was the ‘big craze’ but now I don’t need to book first thing to get a place. In fact, the second time a friend and I just turned up and there were plenty of places available.
It’s essentially a dance class but without any complicated techniques. The instructor shows the dance moves and you just follow. If you get it wrong – and I often do! – it doesn’t matter! It’s just fun.
Pleasantly, I found that having my pedometer while doing Zumba meant my steps increased a great deal.
I visited Ireland for a few days in April and we went on a trip to the beautiful Wicklow Mountains on the Saturday. Leaving the car in the car park, we made the silly mistake of not taking any water with us. I didn’t realise how long we would be walking for. There were four of us and the pace was much faster than I was used to. The decision not to take water was a poor one for me and I felt dehydrated, tired and weak once we started going uphill.
It is times like this that makes me realise how far I still have to go with my journey to become fitter.
1. Aim to walk 100 to 125 miles.
2. Complete the Cuckoo Way along the Chesterfield Canal.
I started May with only two targets, wanting to focus on the canal walk.
I have written a separate post about the canal walk (not published yet), which took place Saturday, May 4 and Sunday, May 5. Suffice to say, it is the hardest canal walk I have ever done. We started at West Stockwith in Nottinghamshire and ended at Killamarsh, Derbyshire. 26 miles on the first day (!) and 12 miles on the second. Beautiful scenery and fascinating history but it did feel hard on my feet and legs, despite being on the flat. My legs were still sore three days later!
The next Notable Walk was BowFell, a Wainwright Fell in the Lake District. Again, there will be a separate post about this. Although I have been up BowFell once before, about seven years ago (how time flies!), it didn’t strike me as an incredibly difficult climb. But the walk on Saturday, May 25, was hard. We forgot the proper map so only had a less detailed one and I had difficulty with the steepness of the steps up the hill. And then, on the way down, the weather took a turn for the worst and we got lost.
Normally I can laugh at these memorable walks in retrospect but after the Wicklow Mountains hike and this one, I now had doubts about my fitness ability. What is the point of going up a mountain if it feels too strenuous? And yet, it was something I wanted to keep doing for the scenery, the sense of achievement, the feeling of exploring somewhere new…
So I did something I never thought I would ever do again.
I joined a gym. (Just to be clear, that picture below is not me!)
It is situated 10 minutes away from my work and 15 minutes away from my house.
And that’s walking distance.
There was no getting away from the place.
It tried to tempt me with vouchers in my workplace – ‘try me for free’. And when I did the maths, it worked out at £5 a week. Okay, there was no swimming pool but there were various fitness classes included and the location was spot on.
So I took my voucher, tried it one Saturday and joined.
There is also a selection of fitness classes here so I am hopeful I won’t lose motivation.
And because of the location, it is always there to remind me of my aim to get fit. There is no ‘out of sight, out of mind’ here!
And yes, I beat my 100 mile target this month!
May: 100.2 miles