Did y’all know that as hunter/gatherers (or wild humans) we would have generally walked 800-900 miles a year? That doesn’t mean we traveled that distance in a linear fashion, but rather that we would often walk a couple miles a day to gather food or do whatever else needed to be done; sometimes we may not have walked much at all on a given day and other times we would go for farther distances to move camp as needed (frequently with the seasons).
I’m a fan of stacking my life for movement as much as I can (check out Katy Bowman for more on how to do this). It’s definitely a process and I’ve been focused elsewhere lately, but now that my daughter is starting to move more and it’s finally cooling off here in Texas I’m excited about challenging myself to walk more. I want to model movement for my daughter because if I don’t move my own body, how can I expect her to move hers?
So, in an effort to get my body moving more throughout the day, I’m challenging myself to walk an average of least 2 miles per day for the month of October. But it’s more than just walking 2 miles. Since it’s about moving my body more throughout the day, I’m generally splitting it into two 1 mile walks. Furthermore, since I’m also trying to challenge my daughter to use her body more, at least one of those walks is done with her “in arms,” meaning no carriers at all, just my arms. This challenges my body and her body in ways that they don’t get challenged when I have her in a wrap, sling, or soft structured carrier (or stroller if that’s your thing).
Most people walk comfortably at a 3 mph pace, so that’s 20 minutes per mile. It’s often easier to go by time since I’m not always certain of the distance and honestly, it’s not really important if I’m walking exactly 1 mile.
I’m doing these walks on top of my “exercise” routine because more movement is better and while I love CrossFit, walking more often stimulates the body in ways that are more in-line with our evolutionary biology.
Another part of these walks that I love is getting myself and the baby outside more often throughout the day. We currently live in an apartment and so don’t have easy access to a comfortable outside space to move in. I’ll often take her out on the balcony but that’s not the same thing as actually getting out and moving in outdoor spaces. Having a goal of doing two 1 mile walks gives it a “purpose” and makes it easier to accomplish. When we were wild humans our movement had purpose and sometimes bringing purpose back to movement can help it become more engrained in our everyday lives.
I also hope to rope others into my walking, whether regularly or just occasionally, because adding community to anything makes it better.
My ultimate goal is bigger than just one month but starting with small habit building challenges, if done with the right mindset, can lead to bigger lifestyle changes.