Friday, 2 February 2018

Hints and tips for the Walking Group

Hello. I'm going to pop this quickie post in before I get on with other things I want to do. Thanks to all the Walking Group who have checked in with their January miles, don't forget, you can do this at any time of the month by just going back to the post on the 1st of the month. There is a menu on the side bar if you don't know how to find it.

There are some amazing mileages being reported, and I want to repeat what I always say, it isn't a race, it isn't a competition, you are walking exclusively for yourselves to maintain a fit and healthy lifestyle. The aim of the challenge is to keep moving, pull yourself out of the doldrums, a burst of activity is good for the body and the mind.

There are no rules about how you calculate your miles. I see that some of you are using fitbits and gizmos to keep track of your steps, which are then converted into miles. If you are wearing one from when you get up to when you go to bed, counting every step you take as you go about your daily business, that's up to you. It's a good benchmark to start from and keep you motivated.

If you are relying on a fitbit in this way, it's not going to give you a true reflection on how much time you are spending exercising. We all have to move about in the normal course of a day, pottering around the garden, pushing the hoover around the carpets, making the beds, cleaning the windows, and going around the shops, but unless you are doing these chores at breakneck speed you aren't going to be using up many calories, or exercising your muscles, or pumping up your heartbeat a couple of notches. 

As an example, a person of average height doing a brisk walk can do three miles in an hour, on flat ground. Less if it is up hill and down dale. Someone with longer legs and a longer stride could do more than that. Working on that basis, 150 miles a month would take 50 hours, divide that by 4 weeks, is 12.5 hours a week. Try an experiment, time your brisk walk to exactly one hour, and see if your gizmo reading matches up to that.

Carry on with your fitbits and gizmo's if it is the alternative to sitting around doing nothing. But try and work up a bit of a sweat as well. When I first go out I am cold, so I wrap up. By the time I am half way round I am taking off my gloves, and scarf, and possibly a jacket as well. By the end of my three miles I am toasty warm with glowing cheeks. In the winter I wear walking boots, in the summer, trainers. I want to walk fast and I can't do that wearing any other footwear.

We have just passed the first month, eleven more to go. Those of you who set out specifically to do a walk, keep on keeping on. Those who are monitoring every step you take, do not rest on your laurels, see if you can up your game a bit. A brisk walk to the shops, a jog to the bus stop, a faster than usual dog walk. Get a sweat on, and you will feel better for it.

A link to a site where you can check your miles. Click on Toggle Map Size to make the map on the right bigger. Zoom in to your start point, click on it, and trace your route with your mouse. It will add it up automatically.  Alternatively a GPS gives an accurate figure.

Away you go, I'll be back later.


  1. Hubby and myself both have manual pedometers. However, I wonder what other methods people use to track distance? Ours both say different mileages - they can vary by a mile! You can alter stride length etc if you're counting steps but surely a mile's a mile?? If there are any other cheapish pedometers that are reliable I would love to know.

  2. Hi ilona, just to clarify for your readers, if you are using a fitbit that is connected to your smartphone then that is exactly the same as using a GPS so don't be disheartened if you're using a "Gizmo", it is also giving an accurate figure as ilona has said about GPS devices.

  3. If I've discovered a new route, I'll measure my distance by driving the route I've run or walked, and checking my odometer. It's not entirely accurate, but it gives me a pretty good idea. I've joined several of these groups over the years, but failed. Oh, I did the miles with no problem, as I have to take my dog a minimum of 2 miles daily, (not all at once, mind you) and would also run 2-4 miles at least 3 x's week. It's the logging on and recording I was useless at!

  4. All my miles are 'boots on'. I have 5 or 6 measured local routes, initially measured with BikeHike then since double checked with a basic Garmin (GPS) I was given. There are discrepancies between the two, especially when going 'off the track'. I find the Garmin useful for keeping tabs on the mileage when I go off my intended route following new paths Also have been trying Geocaching which helps improve my navigation skills and adds interest and motivation. Odette

  5. Well,where i lived as a kid was 1 mile from the city centre and that used to take 20 mins walking.So now that my grandaughter isnt walking on Saturdays...she had all the mileage thingy,lol,on her phone.So now Im having to do it in old money,,,as my dad would say...and do it in time.If I am out 2hours,well then Ill know that Ive done 6 miles.Im not very good with these modern clicky things!!,Debi,xx

  6. I don't walk far each day but I do make sure that I always do go -no letting things slip.As I have dogs to walk I must anyway.If I have a headache or wobbly legs I think that if I stay indoors I will feel weaker.A walk really does me good.If when I wake my hip aches a bit walking really does ease it & it's no longer stiff x

  7. Hi Ilona! The only miles that I will be including in my own walking challenge this year are the actual miles I walk for exercise. I wear a pedometer daily just to keep track of my steps: I always aim for over 10,000 steps most days but I do not include these total steps in my daily calculations because walking around the house doesn't count as exercise IMHO :)



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