Map Your Walk

Since registration for Step It Up! begins one week from today, I thought it would be fitting to mention one of my favorite ways to make walking more interesting –  using gmap-pedometer to track how far I’ve walked.  All participants who register for Step It Up!  will receive a free pedometer with which they can track their steps, but for those who would like to kick things up a notch and track mileage, plan out their routes ahead of time, or see a satellite view of their walking path, this tool is a great resource.  All you need to do is plug in your starting destination (I usually try to enter a specific address), zoom in on the map, and use the cursor to draw out your walking path.  The pedometer tool will then calculate how many miles you have walked, either one way or round-trip.  I like to use it in one of two ways:  to plan a walking route with a particular amount of mileage in mind, or to see how far I’ve traveled after I’ve returned from a walk.  I often find the results surprising, as it’s very easy to over- and under-estimate the amount of miles you walk on a given trip.
Since Step It Up! encourages participants to walk 10,000 steps, or the equivalent of 5 miles, each day, the gmap-pedometer tool will come in handy if you are trying to figure out how far you should walk to get those 10,000 steps in.  Remember that you don’t need to walk 5 miles all at once (you can break up your walks into shorter time or mileage increments), and you can sneak extra steps into your day by doing things like parking your car in a far-away spot, getting off a stop of two early on the T or bus and walking the rest of the way to work, or getting up to talk to your coworkers rather than call or email them.  Find ways to add extra steps to your day that interest you – I’d love to hear about any ideas you have via email or in the comments section.

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