jaunthie: (Seamask)
Fair warning: this post contains a LOT of pictures, so expand accordingly.

Today was the Women's March. I had decided to go along with fisherbear, and my friends A and F decided that this was important enough, and likely to be mellow enough, to be their daughter K's first protest event. Given logistics, we decided to carpool to the light rail station and travel together to the access point closest to the start of the parade.

Well, we and everyone else living in our end of town.

This is the train car we were in. Keep in mind that we got on at the VERY FIRST STOP, the terminus of the line. There was no one on the train before we started boarding.
Images and text behind the cut. You have been warned. )

All in all, a very good day. I've seen absolutely zero reports of any vandalism or aggression from the marchers. It was exactly what it was meant to be, a peaceful protest and an astonishing display of communal activism. And I got to break out my camera and exercise my rusty documentary skills as an extra bonus.
jaunthie: (shoe salute)
It's been a number of years since I participated in the 3-Day. (And given the recently revealed nature of the leadership and financial wastefulness of the organization, I'll probably never participate in another Komen-sponsored event, but that's another post.) Since then, I have gradually gotten *out* of the habit of walking intensively. Oh, I still walk, but I have a sedentary job, and I don't force myself to go out walking the way I did when I was in training.

Cut scene to a few weeks ago, when I read an article in the New York Times about the effects of walking 10,000 steps a day (or more) compared to walking less than that. It seems that the 10K mark is the cutoff point for all sorts of beneficial metabolic effects. Walk 10K steps a day or more, and your metabolism is higher, your blood sugar doesn't spike after meals, and a long list of so-ons. Walk less, and even if you're in really good shape, your metabolism goes all "meh" within just a few days.

Huh, I thought. That's interesting.

What was even more interesting was the American average of daily steps taken: 4,300. That's ALL DAY, walking around to the bathroom, doing chores, commuting, everything. Not just concentrated exercise, but every single step a person takes between getting up in the morning and going to bed at night.

Which led me to two thoughts:
  • Wow. If 4,300 steps per day is the AVERAGE, how many fewer steps must some people take, to balance out all those folks who regularly run/walk/etc? And how is it even *possible* to take so few steps in the course of a day?
  • Waitaminute. I wonder how many steps per day *I* take these days?
It's an interesting question, because as I said, I work in a sedentary job, and most of my outside interests are also relatively sedentary. Okay, well maybe not *most*, but writing = butt in chair; photography = some walking around taking pictures followed by processing the digital images, i.e., butt in chair; gardening = well, not butt in chair except when I'm drooling over seed and plant catalogues, but at this time of year with its unpredictable weather, it's not a regular bit of exercise, either. I do go to the gym at least twice a week, but even I know that's not enough. And while I walk from the bus stop to work and back, that's not a huge distance, either.

So you know what I did, of course. I bought a very cheap pedometer and clipped it onto my pocket.

The good news? Even in my current not-terribly-active life, I still average well over the American reported average of 4,300 steps per day. I've usually got about 2,000 steps in just by the time I sit down to my desk in the mornings.

The bad news? I'm below that 10K per day average. Granted, there are certain activities I do (indoor rock climbing, cycling) that don't register on the pedometer. (No big surprise that a pedometer doesn't keep track of "steps" when those steps are going more-or-less straight up and/or aroundandaroundandaround.) But still, I'm averaging less than that magic number, so to speak. (And yes, I'm aware that everyone's number will be different.) By and large, over the course of a week I'm averaging about 8,000 steps per day. Which is pretty pathetic, really.

Fortunately, I have a gadget now that tells me what a slug I'm being. And like many people, I can be motivated by numbers. Just by putting on a pedometer, I am walking more. (I like seeing that number go up. I'm easily amused. This is not news.) And now that I know what the facts are, I'm starting to strategize how I can get more walking in every day.

To be specific, I'm curious to see what the effects of walking for five minutes every hour during the workday is on my daily steps average. Five minutes isn't a long time, but it's enough to get my blood moving, which is the whole point. And with more and more articles proliferating recently about how sitting for hours at a time is really, really not good for you, it's an experiment worth doing.

What about the rest of you? Any ideas, tips, strategies, etc? How many steps do you think you take per day? And are you interested in/motivated to increase your totals?
jaunthie: (Default)
Those of you not wanting to read a plug for donating to breast cancer research don't have to click the cut text here. Those that don't mind or might be interested, click right here and thanks! )

I'm really looking forward to the experience, sore feet and all!

jaunthie: (Default)
...and shot 4 rolls of film at the Solstice Parade, which involved a couple of hours of photographer's squats (squat down, shoot a bunch of frames, shift over, sit back, get back into crouch). I am definitely tired and a bit sore. But on the plus side, I'm not sunburned, I don't have any blisters, and I really am starting to think I can do the 3 Day in some reasonable approximation of competence.

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