I find it very easy to be out and about in Seattle from May through October, when the weather is gorgeous, and I have no trouble hitting my daily FitBit goal of 10,000 steps. Once the weather turns cold and rainy, I find it much harder. My impulse is to burrow with a glass of wine and a good book and look out my glass wall of windows at the wind and rain rather than be outside in the midst of it.
But this past week, I really made an effort — made easier by the fact that the early part of the week, which included Halloween, was gorgeous. The last few days, spitting snow and with overcast skies and sharply colder temperatures, was harder.
I succeeded in blowing out my numbers this week: 109,186 steps over 7 days, which translates into 44.95 miles, 15,491 calories expended, and 885 active minutes.
There isn’t a direct correlation between exercise and calories and maintaining weight, which is what makes dieting so disheartening. Given how much exercise I do, I should be lean and wiry and fit as a fiddle. I’m not. I’m sorta slender, have the sturdy body shape of my Irish forebears, and while I’m more fit than the average 72 year old, I won’t be entering endurance competitions any time soon. I don’t really diet, although I watch what I eat — always have. I drink wine. I enjoy crumpets with ricotta cheese and lemon curd — hardly a low cal or low fat breakfast.
Someone asked if I expect to live longer because I work out, and the answer is no — being fit is about living better, not longer. I rarely run out of energy. I can climb Seattle’s hills without getting out of breath. I can keep up with my grandkids. I fit into my clothes. I can squeeze through narrow openings when I’m in the midst of a throng of people. I enjoy travel, and don’t get out of sorts when things get discombobulated. I cope without getting too cranky.
I once read an article about a woman in New York, well up into her 90’s, who jogged along the corridors of her building to stay fit. A friend to whom I pointed out the article shook her head and asked, “Why bother, at her age?”
The woman bothered because exercise made her feel better, and that’s why I bother too.