Hey, Doug! I’m doing ten thousand steps a day, too!

The view from my elliptical trainer, in my home office (yeah, that's "The West Wing" on the tube).

The view from my elliptical trainer, in my home office (yeah, that’s “The West Wing” on the tube).

Like so many, this particular mania started with an iPhone app.

Or maybe I can blame Doug Ross. After all, he had been bragging to me about his 10,000 steps  a day — which sounded extreme to me — just a day before this happened.

Or maybe it was the app.

Anyway, I was having lunch with some folks from ADCO, and a couple of the women were wearing Fitbits, or something like that. To make conversation, I asked if they had apps on their phones that tracked their data. Then a little light went off in my head. I remembered that awhile back I had started to use this Health app that I think came with my phone — I went in and entered some basic stats and such — but then had lost interest and forgotten about it.

Curious, I called it up, and to my surprise saw that it had been counting every step I took, every day, for two years!

I also saw that, thanks in part to my morning workouts on the elliptical trainer, I was frequently doing six or seven thousand steps a day without knowing it. And I’d exceeded 10,000 a couple of days when I was at the beach earlier this summer.

So the next day (Aug. 31), I started actually trying — I added some time to the morning elliptical workout (I’m up to 35 minutes now), and started taking a walk around the neighborhood with my wife in the evening. And if that’s not enough (it usually is), a very few more minutes on the elliptical does the trick.stats

And bingo! I’m not just doing 10,000 a day, sometimes I go over 12,000 without meaning to.

(Oh, and I hope it won’t offend Doug and Bud too much, but I do take a day of rest once a week. Usually, it will probably be Sunday. But this week, as you can see from the stats at right, it was Wednesday. That’s because I gave two units of platelets Tuesday evening at the Red Cross — I went for a long walk downtown on Tuesday at lunchtime to get in my full 10,000 without the evening walk — and that always takes something out of me more than just platelets. I need the next day to recover my energy.)

Also, yesterday morning my weight was down to 172.2 — better than it’s been in… a while. (When I started the morning workouts a couple of months back, I was usually well over 180, sometimes more than 185.)

And I feel pretty good about it. And it’s weird how motivating it is to watch those steps mount up on the app. Silly, but it works. I let nothing stop me, so far. Last night, my wife didn’t feel like walking, so I did another 35 minutes on the elliptical — 70 minutes for the day — bringing my total to 11,730. I’m a machine!

Anyway, I’m telling you all this in order to put pressure on myself to keep going. Sorry to use you that way, but it’s for my health, you see…

My home office, where the elliptical magic happens.

My home office, where the elliptical magic happens.

16 thoughts on “Hey, Doug! I’m doing ten thousand steps a day, too!

  1. Brad Warthen Post author

    I’m done for the day. Knowing that grandchildren are spending the night at our house, I figured I wouldn’t have time tonight — so, having some errands to run downtown, I walked them.

    I was at 5,627 when I left the office — mostly from the elliptical this morning — and now, sweating at my desk, I’m at 10,026…

    What that means is that without trying, I’ll probably top 12,000 by bedtime…

  2. Doug Ross

    Good job, Brad! Keep it up.

    I tend to be goal oriented combined with OCD so that helps. But it’s easy to find steps during the day if you want to. I stay in a hotel a mile from work so that get’s me two miles without even trying hard. I also work on the 32nd floor of a building and walk down at least twice a day. Throw in a 30 minute walk at lunch and I’m close to 10,000 steps most days before the end of the work day.

    The best part of it has been zero injuries – which is why I can do it every day. Joggers always look happy and complain about their knees, shins, hips, etc. when they get to our age. Just walk..

    FYI, just to make us both feel inferior, I went to dinner last night with a guy who AVERAGES 24,000 steps a day and has done that for two years. His top was 70,000. That takes a level of discipline I haven’t got.

    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      As for that 24,000-step showoff…

      My wife says an acquaintance of ours did 26,000 the other day — because she’s in Europe.

      I really wish I was keeping track when we were in Thailand. It probably would have been around that — especially the entire day we spent hiking through the rainforest of Kao Yai National Park.

      And I’m thinking we walked more than that per day when we were in England. Fortunately, that was in the winter, so it wasn’t as sweaty as 102 degrees in Thailand. But it WAS tiring, probably because it was winter. When the sun went down before 4 p.m., we were generally ready to call it a day…

      1. Brad Warthen Post author

        My wife has been talking for some time about going back to England and doing a “walking tour.” Until recently, that sounded kind of radical to me. I was thinking I’d rather do a “sitting tour” — in pubs. And on the Tube, of course, because y’all know how I love public transportation.

        But the “walking tour” thing is sounding better to me. And why, I ask, couldn’t we walk from pub to pub?

          1. Brad Warthen Post author

            Actually, in my experience, not room temperature. More like, the temperature of the keg down in the basement — cooler than room temp, just not frosty.

            At least, that’s the way it was when I was there, in the dead of winter. Maybe it’s warmer in the summer.

            I’ll confess, though, that the best beer I had in England was a frosty bottle of Fuller’s Bengal Lancer IPA. I let the barman choose for me, so of course he chose a pale, ice-cold brew — there was actual frost on the bottle — for the Yank. I was about to feel insulted until I tasted it. He had me pegged….

    2. Richard

      A friend of mine used to do half-marathons and would run at least five miles per day. He said that the worst part of the day was getting out of bed in the morning… it’d take him about 30 minutes before his feet stopped hurting. I told him I walk my dogs every evening and I don’t have a problem with my feet. The worst part is when he took his shoes off, some of the nastiest looking feet I’ve ever seen… he’s going to have fun when he gets old.

  3. Doug Ross

    And now that I think of it, perhaps the single payer tax rate should be cut by a point or two for people who walk 10K steps a day or more. Incentives drive behavior that would also cut healthcare costs.

    1. Richard

      What about those poor 400 pound people who are on every disability they qualify for? Class action discrimination lawsuit lawyers will be lined up. Life is tough for those who are couch bound and are only able to eat Oreos and Doritos.

  4. Bart Rogers

    I am not at that point yet. The route around my yard to get to one mile is 9 laps. Try to get in at a minimum of one mile a day but generally get in 3 or 4. I augment my walking with a workout every other day for about 60 to 90 minutes depending on what time I start. Lifting weights, sit-ups, bench pressing, curls, and a variety of other exercises. Also keep a set of dumb bells beside my desk and will grab one and use it for at least 60 reps for each arm a couple of times a day. Have a treadmill for rainy days but considering replacing it with an elliptical.

    When we get older, it is extremely important to stay in the best physical shape we can. Very impressed with what Brad and Doug are doing for their health.

  5. Brad Warthen Post author


    Check out what I did Saturday. That’s my record so far in the couple of weeks since I started counting.

    When I got up and headed upstairs for my elliptical workout, my wife suggested I skip it, since we had a lot of yard work to do.

    I said no, I wanted to lay a good foundation for the day. So I went up and racked up 4,000 or so steps.

    I didn’t take a single deliberate step toward my goal the rest of the day, but still nearly reached 14,000.

    We have a large yard, and just going back and forth to the garage for tools or dragging fallen limbs to the street makes for a LOT of walking…

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