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Lately I tried to do the 10,000 step challenge. You know the whole thing, try to get 10,000 steps a day on average to get more exercise. The exact number itself isn’t gospel at all (it originated in a mix of pedometer publicity, a study of postal workers, and the general fact that walking is good), but it’s a good enough target for me to make sure I stay mobile. I’d been through a lot of changes in my life, and always tried to get in good walks now and then.
What I found kind of surprised me.
First, I have a habit of walking anyway – taking breaks at work, when I write, etc. So I found I was certainly getting my exercise – mostly. Then again there were days where I got a lot less walking than I thought – often when I worked at home, but also less on the weekends when I was active.
Secondly, I had put on some weight in the last few years. Nothing worrysome, but I figured it had been due to disruption and lots of changes.
Walking helped me put it together.
I used to live at a place where I walked a lot. I lived near a shopping complex where I could take care of most of my shopping needs and then some, so I walked there practically once a day if not more. That was on top of my workout and my usual walking.
Then I moved, and shopping was a bit more distant, so I drove a bit more.
Then I moved again, and though there were great shopping complexes, none were across the street. So I drove more.
That’s when I realized literally I had gone from years of constant walking to less and less. So of course I put on a few pounds.
It made me again reflect on what I’ve often talked about – the importance of location. Changes here and there added up (including on my waistline) and I hadn’t noticed them until I ran some numbers and did a little research.
Then of course there’s differences in location for more than exercise. Saving gas. Access to food and services. Pollution. Weather and microclimates. Location matters in so many ways we forget as we get used to hearing how it matters.
It’s easy to forget the issues of location. A little thing like this helped bring me back to just how much location matters.
For me, it was a change in exercise. But think of how a few thousand feet affects if someone can make it to a store. Or how a change of a mile affects home prices. Or one town over has problems with sewage that you don’t.
The little reminders helps with the big things.