Walk With Me

by Volker Weber

Ben found this great story on walking and it resonates well with my experience of the past year. I started walking because I needed to. Then I developed an interest in fitness trackers, and finally (and most importantly) I befriended a dog.

Frau Brandlinger: "Ich wäre so weit. Wir können dann los!" #brandy #dog #Bessungen #Darmstadt

A photo posted by Volker Weber (@volkerweber) on

The more I walked, the more productive I became. If I want to talk to somebody I ask them to walk with me. This week I walked with Max, twice. He knows everything about Pebble and quite a bit about iOS development. I walk with Ute a lot and she tells me what happened in her work day. And I walk alone. Time to think, hardly any distractions, aside from alerts or the occasional phone call.

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The weather was brilliant this week. And on Wednesday I set a new goal: walk four Marathons. That's 4 times 42 kilometers and 195 meters. 168 kilometers and 780 meters for the whole week. On Saturday I needed to take some night shots with Lumia cameras - that is another story. Since I started too early, I had to wait for moonrise. Waiting meant walking. 35723 steps is a new record, up by about 4000 from last Thursday. On Sunday I had exceeded my goal for the week.

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This week was extreme. If you push yourself to new levels once in a while, you start building more strength. More strength equals more muscles. Muscles burn calories. I am going back to my 100 km routine tomorrow, which puts me back into the 1000 calories active burn range. That is 700 calories more than I had before walking. Every single day. And that's why weight loss happens. If you know me, you can see that it was significant.

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The changes over the last eleven months have been very uplifting. I am stronger, leaner, and I feel younger. Walking is a very mild exercise. Almost anyone can do it. And everybody should, at least 30 minutes a day.

Initially I could hardly walk at all, due to an injury at CeBIT 2014. Six weeks after the event I started with just a walk around the block. Then two, then three. First you build up strength, then endurance. Take your time, don't start too quickly. For a long time, my goal was 6500 steps a day. And I did not meet it every day. When I did, I raised it to 10000. And when I made that every single day, I added another goal: 100 km a week. 19 weeks in, I have not missed that goal.

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Today I passed 3 million steps on Withings Health Mate. That is about the same number of steps I walked with the UP24 band I used before Jawbone added an "intelligent coach" -- think Clippy -- to their software. 6 million steps in less than a year. If you would have told me a year ago, I would have called you a dreamer.

By now, I could walk a Marathon a day. Walk, not run. After about one year, building up from zero. Come walk with me.

Comments

Nice work :) I started walking two years ago but have now rediscovered cycling.

Over 20 kg lost, but 20,000 km gained.

Cheers
Justin

Justin Knol, 2015-03-08

Congratulations, Justin. Both on the exercise and the weight loss. It probably does not really matter, what exercise you do. Find what you like and then stick to it. I know somebody who swims three kilometers a day.

Having said that, did you read the article I linked to? Walking is a mild exercise that has other benefits as well.

Volker Weber, 2015-03-08

Very inspirational - thank you for sharing your progress and your thoughts on walking in general! Now with the sun out everybody should feel (even more) encouraged. I ride my bike all year around to work and back which is my daily workout. In additiona I run but I will pick up walking as well. And like you, I always feel encouraged by measuring my activities. My standpoint is this: every piece of technology that encourages one to be more active is fair game (i.e. money well spent). I walk with you...

Markus Dierker, 2015-03-08

The list is not complete:
http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2010/10/04/the-next-incarnation

Martin Funk, 2015-03-08

A marathon does take 4h+ plus for the average trained. So much how long do you walk (with all doggie pee breaks included)? :)

Ingo Seifert, 2015-03-08

Well, I haven't. I said, I could. I figure it would take me about seven hours. The dog can always keep up with me, no matter which service breaks she has to take.

Why haven't I done it yet? I have enough strength and endurance. But my body says "don't". And I listen very carefully.

Volker Weber, 2015-03-08

Oh, do not get me wrong. I did not want to motivate you for a marathon but it is your decision anyway. I just never walked 42k... and was interested how long it took you.

Ingo Seifert, 2015-03-09

Normal walk is 5 km/h, brisk walk is 6. I made it to 7 but would not be able to for hours on end. I'd probably rest every two have hours for 10 minutes.

Volker Weber, 2015-03-09

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