We made it! 30 days of walking 30 minutes (or more) every day. Hooray!
My 30 Day Walking Challenge review
Was it easy? Yes and no. The walking was easy. I fell right back into it. No tiredness or sore and aching muscles. No flare ups of my Achilles, a blight on my walking and running career. I worried that walking every day without rest breaks might antagonise one or both. Nope. My (formerly) broken toe is as good as it’ll ever be, I think. It aches at times, but nothing that caused me any grief or slowed me down.
It was easy to fit the walking in during the first ten days or so. I encountered some obstacles to getting out the door but I still walked at least 30 minutes every day. I got food poisoning. I had work deadlines. It was raining. It was dark. I had family pressures. No different to the obstacles most of face in our daily lives.
There is one key thing I learned. Successfully completing this 30 Day Walking Challenge has proven that I can find 30 minutes every day to walk, no matter the weather or what’s going on in my life.Completing the 30 Day Walking Challenge proves I can find 30 minutes every day to walk. Click To Tweet
Do I feel better for it? Absolutely. I’m sleeping better. My legs feel stronger. I’m sure I’ve lost a bit of weight as a welcome side effect to my daily walks.
As a side bonus, I haven’t drunk any alcohol for more than a month. This wasn’t a deliberate, conscious decision to cut down or reduce my alcohol intake, it’s something I fell into. I’m sure this has helped make it easier to get walking first thing in the morning – no hangover, not even a vague one, to deal with.
Technology and the 30 Day Walking Challenge
During the Challenge (and when I remembered) I used the MapMyHike app to record my walks. I’ve tried and tested a few hiking apps and MapMyHike is the one I recommend. It’s not complicated, it’s easy to use and it’s free. Turn on location services, open the app, start recording and start walking. Too easy!
You can download the MapMyHike app for Android, iPhone and even Blackberry devices.
I recently read an article on Science Alert about a 2009 study into the time it takes to form a new habit. You may have heard the old rumour that it takes 21 days to create a new habit? Well, while the results of the study weren’t clear cut, they found the average time it takes for a new habit to stick is actually 66 days. Some people adapted to their new habit as early as 18 days while others took a whopping 254 days for the habit to set.
Habit forming and habit breaking are closely aligned. Rather than breaking a ‘bad’ habit, people are replacing an old habit with a new one. My bad habit was making feeble excuses to not exercise. My new habit is to exercise, regardless.
Relating the study to my own situation, while I feel I’ve made significant progress with my daily walking habit through the 30 Day Walking Challenge, I know that I still have some way to go before walking becomes automatic, not something I have to fit around everything else in my day, so I’ll continue with the Challenge through October.
Stepping it up
During the 30 Day Walking Challenge, I wasn’t focussed on reaching a certain distance in a certain time. My goal was to walk every day for thirty minutes and set a new habit.
During October, I’m going to step it up a notch and concentrate on doing better quality walks. Last night, I walked 3kms in 35 minutes at a brisk pace. That’s my benchmark. Let’s see if I can smash that by the end of the month.
I’m also going to allow myself to substitute walking with another form of aerobic exercise, such as cycling.
Mindfulness and walking
The Mindfulness Summit is on during October. This is a FREE 31 Day Mindfulness Challenge from October 1-31st designed to bring mindfulness into your life and where you will have the opportunity to learn mindfulness from the comfort of your own home (or in my case, while out walking) from some of the world’s most respected teachers.
How it works
- Every day in October there will be new interviews, presentations and meditations sessions uploaded to TheMindfulnessSummit.com
- Register for free on the website to gain access to everything.
- Sign up for the newsletter and follow Mrs Mindfulness on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram for the 31 Days of Mindfulness Challenge, extra summit content, opportunities to chat with the speakers, mindfulness tips and more!
- Become a more mindful, meditative version of you!
Mindfulness is the art of living in the moment, rather than 2 minutes ahead or 2 weeks behind. This style of thinking allows you to wholly experience everything in your life; taking time to focus on the present. The benefits don’t stop there. It’s also been found to reduce cortisol (the stress hormone) and it allows you to handle stress better.
I’ll be practicing mindful walking during October.
Did you get out every day for at least 30 minutes during September or did you walk more than you usually would have? Let me know in the comments below.