I’ve recently pledged myself to learn to love walking again.
The start of this journey, I’ve written about in a post on the B210 forum, which should have been titled Walking #1: healthunlocked.com/bridgeto...
I wrote it over there because, at present, I’m more of a runner or rower or yogi than a walker. So my journey will be a bit unusual as I know many (but not all) will first walk and then run.
Mind you, I am a super-slow runner; in fact, I crowned myself Queen of Slow, as I didn’t know anyone slower than me.
Most of you walkers on this forum will walk faster than I run!
But I want to add pain-free walking to my toolset for my fitness journey. I also want to rekindle the love for walking I still remember from my younger days, hiking for days through the Spanish orange-orchard-filled, rocky landscape. Or memories from camping and walking through the refreshing, huge forests of Germany, or experiencing the exhilaration of vista-rich hiking in the Scottish highlands! Or just meandering on foot with friends and family on a trip to a National Trust property on a lazy Sunday afternoon.
All this stopped at some point when lower back pain meant I couldn’t walk longer than 15 minutes!
Now my health journey is longer (see my profile). It includes struggling with a thyroid condition that meant my former active self morphed into someone who, for a period of 10 years, was unable to do substantial or longer physical activity.
So here I am, post-menopausal, thyroid challenged, but thanks to our sister-running forums and my now two-year-long practice of running, yoga, and rowing I feel relatively fit.
But walking still gives me a pain in my backside, and I want to change that!
So here I am. A walking newbie. Again.
One who - at the moment – likes running and rowing more than walking. In fact, at present, I wouldn’t say I like walking. Strangely unlike running, it gives me lower back pain. It also feels like it’s such a slow means of moving forward, which is strange as I run almost at the same speed I walk.
But what if I could learn to love to walk just like I learned to love to run?
So on these posts, I want to reflect on moments in my journey, maybe get some insights from other walkers, and hopefully, share some of the delights I have discovered on my own walking journey.
So here is the beginning of that journey, one that, for me (a bit of a tech nerd), quite often starts with apps.
And of course, at the beginning of my journey, there was the Active 10 app.
(Where to get it? nhs.uk/better-health/get-ac... )
It’s great for logging your active walking minutes, and I was able to set my initial target to 10min / day, a target that was easily achieved if I included my C25k runs with its walking intervals.
I have that app now always running and tracking in the background; I check on it at times and glow in the pride of having gotten some more badges. But I wanted a bit more fun interaction.
I had in the past explored the app-based walking fitness-tracker-game: The Walk, developed by the same people who created Zombies, Run. They also developed their own version of Couch-to-5k, a 5k Running-training program I am going through at the moment on my way back up to running (ultra-slowly) 5k. But I’ll post about “The Walk” app at a different time.
But through these searches, I was aware that there were several apps that’d be fun to try out, which would motivate me to do that first, most difficult step any day, that of stepping out of your house!
So on that journey, I discovered the STRIDE app on IOS. (Link to Apple store: apps.apple.com/gb/app/strid... )
Stride calls itself a walking and running game. You conquer hexagons on a map, being able to fight for control of your region of the map by walking through these hexagons more often than your competitors.
I managed to get my hubby (who does walk every day) involved, and now we constantly take each other’s territory from each other as we do our walks!
I’ve not yet convinced him to form an alliance with me, something that would allow us both to be the kings and queens of the town that we live in. We would rule our walking town! 🤣
There is one other walking competitor, who lives and dares to walk with this app in our town, and between the three of us, there is a healthy competition for who owns the most hexagons in the town.
So my review of the STRIDE app in short:
- it gets me out the door
- It is fun, especially when competing with a Neighbor or family member
- It tracks your walks (or runs)
- Basic version is free
Some things I like less:
- It has an annoying first subscription screen in which you have to wait for the close button to appear
- I feel the hexagons are too big; my hubby thinks they are sized right
So for techy walkers, this app is a delight!
For competitive walkers, it's an immense motivation.
But due to its techy nature, it might not be for everyone.
But whatever gets us out the door is great in my book!
So happy walking, everyone!