10000 steps a day for a month by a 70 year old

By Chris Raisin

Day 25 - zero point zero three km (100 feet) short of 200km!!

If I had known I would finish just short of 200km today, I would have started my last walk 5 minutes earlier! Oh well, tomorrow will be a landmark day.
I think I said earlier that 120-130bpm was all I could stand. I suddenly realised today that I am only comfortable at 130bpm and anything slower is now too slow! This means I have added fitness and my legs do not feel a strain at all (I tried 140bpm but that was TOO fast). Very pleased with my progress and added steps on most days. Even thinking that I may not be able to stop after the 31 days (it is becoming a habit....but then again, I must get on to the cycling). My weight strangely increased 2 kilos in the past 2 days even though I have not increased eating- but I have drunk a lot of water. I guess it is "normalizing" (still 8 kilos lighter than I was at the start).  Catch up with you all tomorrow (eh, today) 

Day 24 - 7 days to go! ☺

Well, I am almost there! Only one week to go!
Tonight a learnt a new law of physics: The control one has on one's bladder is inversely proprotional to the distance one is from the finish line. I made the mistake of drinking a litre of water before setting out on my last walk. I notice that my speed increased DRAMATICALLY once I had unlocked the front door at the end of the walk and headed to the smallest room in the flat (I did make it by the way).

Day 23 - Approaching 200km mark!

The only "out of the ordinary" event on this day was me turning my ankle early in the first walk (hence only 2 walks instead of 3). Fortunately, because of a visit to the doctor earlier in the day, I clocked up a few more steps than normal (outside of "power walking" time). The ankle is fine, but I decided not to take a third walk (which would have clocked up record steps but put extra strain on my ankle). Tomorrow should see be back into the normal swing of three walks (all these are power walks to music at 130bpm).

Day 22 - A day like any other

Nothing much to add today, except I decided to walk earlier to get some sun (all this night walking means I miss out on Vitamin D)

Day 21 - How do I keep on going? Desire to help the Heart Foundation, Lite 'n Easy, water and sleep :-)

10 days to go! This is what has kept me going:

1. A desire to help others survive heart problems through    
    improved research by the Heart Foundation
2. A great, nutritious balanced diet supplied by "Lite 'n Easy"
    (fantastic value and great tasting food!)
3. 2 Litres of water each day (pure spring water)
4, 8 hours (at least) of sound sleep

The only incident tonight was when I was making the second lap on my second walk at 10 pm. The first lap went fine, then on the second lap I suddenly came across a HUGE branch that had fallen across the footpath from a tree in the adjoining house! I had to stop and HEAVE it off onto the nature strip else I would have fallen (thank goodness I saw it in the dark). The thought then struck me "What if it had fallen just as I passed under earlier in my circuit?" Someone is watching over me (if this journal suddenly stops before day 31, send the SES along the footpath to investigate!)...Until tomorrow.....(sigh) 

Day 20 - On the home stretch (only "legs-11" days to go!)

I had to push myself to walk today since I was not feeling very well. After finishing an on-line bridge match at 10.15pm I thought "oh well - here goes nothing, can I get almost the total required 10,000 steps in before midnight? (I had walked only 327 until then). I did it with 20 minutes to spare, but could barely move. I was planning two more times around the block but couldn't do it. I had made my goal (and some) and thought it best to stop (I want to help Heart Research, not add to its fatality figures!) 

Day 19 - 12 days to go!

Why did I start this? Oh, that's right, to help the Heart Foundation and to divert me from the boredom of shutdown. The first is working, thanks to the great contributions from my supporters (I will thank you all personally at the end), and now between sleeping (cos "boy am I tired!") and the walks I just have time to eat some meals (Lite 'n Easy), watch the TV a little (mostly History Channel and the News) and check my email. (Mind you, I am playing quite a bit of on-line Bridge too). I will be more than pleased though when this challenge finishes in 12 days. The problem then is to keep with the walking, though I plan to walk more to shops etc. when these rotten restrictions guarding against the Coronavirus (still no worse in deaths than the flu) are lifted. 

Day 18 - When will this end? (in 13 days....and 13 is my unlucky number!)

A late posting today (for yesterday). Don't worry, I am still standing (or actually moving). Inclement weather yesterday saw me walking quite late and contracted a little since I don't like walking in the rain. Trying a new set of headphones (and new music) today (er "tomorrow") to try and inspire me - the old set keeps cutting in and out on Bluetooth (very annoying) The new set is full headphones instead of earbuds and is heavier.It has better sound tho and no cut-out...... Oh, well, after dinner I will pound the pavements again.

Day 17 - Getting tired, but added bonus kicking in

I am quite weary tonight but finished the course OK (although late in the day). 
Sleeping very well (my usual 8 hrs a day is now averaging about 9) and an added bonus has become evident!
I have lost 10 kilos over the 17 days and BMI has dropped 6%.
After this challenge has finished I will switch to pushing the weight loss further (although walking may not be as intense). I plan to look at indoor cycling (which I have put off for ages in spite of the spiffy "all modern cons" indoor bike I have in my office).
Walking is great (but tends to be quite boring). I am also SICK of the music tracks! (must change them). I have found 120-126bpm is bearable, but anything above that becomes too taxing (when you are nearly 70)

Day 16 - Just passed the halfway mark!

Well, I am just over the half-way mark without missing a day of at least 10,000 (not bad for an old fella....mind you, I am getting older by the minute!)
I have found a bit of a "trick" in getting extra steps in. If I leave my last walk late enough, I find that (since my watch "clicks over to zero" at midnight) if my last walk ends about 11.45 pm and I have reached my 10,000 steps, my mind says "what the heck, I can last another 15 mins to get extra steps in!" and I can easily then ....(well not exactly easily)....put in that extra spurt to see if I can better a previous walk. If I had hit 10,000 at about 6 pm, I doubt if I would be inclined to try for the extra.
Can't say there is less traffic at midnight than at 2 pm in Melbourne nowadays! (sigh). Oh well, off to bed to go through it all again tomorrow....ummm....today!)   :-(

Day 15 - Strange finishing results

Have been having problems in my left knee when I am NOT walking. It has become quite stiff and only loosens up after I start walking (gingerly with a limp). It is my old sports injury feeling it again. I lost all my cruciate ligament in a badminton injury back in the days when I played state/national level events and in World Masters Games. (Gee, haven't played for 25 years now....but I still have the brand new rackets I bought for $600 in the week before I retired!)
The strange "Challenge" statistics today occurred in the THREE walks I took. They recorded as only 2, with the last one combining the second and third walk. Strange, because I had a 15-minute break at home between them. This of course means the "BPM" (beats per minute) will show lower than what I experience while walking. At least the steps were counted as well as the distance! ☺

Day 14 - Lightest day, but still made it!

Feeling better, and moving quicker, but leaving walk to later in the day meant a bit of a rush to get my steps in. Ended up slightly lower than all other days, a bit of an offset for yesterday's better effort, but still made the goal!

Day 13 - Approaching half way mark!

Only three days to go to pass the half-way mark without missing a day (gosh).
I have also just passed walking 100km. so by my guess I will finish completing some 220km (or more) in total for the month.
Not strict enough on my water drinking (so I will have to watch that). Also blood pressure still a little high (the stress of Covid times I think). 

Day 12 - Just another day out of the office

No much to say today - Over a third of the way through and confident I can do this. I have suspicions of a herniated or ruptured disk in my spine since sneezing sends me into intense back spasms.
This is not affecting my walking, though. Seeing my doctor on Monday ......by teleconference of course :-(

Day 11 - So close to "giving it a miss"

I was quite worried this afternoon when a tightish chest and difficulty moving made me think, "oh no, I just can't do this today". At 6.00 pm it was still raining and I felt no better. At 9.30 pm it had just stopped drizzling, and I thought "I cannot let these people down", so I set out at a slower rate (fast walk but not power walk) and soon loosened up. 7 times around the block (1 hr and 20 mins) saw the 10,000 reached but the last 2 laps (25 mins) was in drenching rain. At least I did it!

Day 10 - The hardest day, yet one of the most productive!

I really felt when I arose (fell out of bed) that I  could not walk AT ALL today. I waddled like a robot (small steps) around the house and had difficulty getting a deep breath. I ended up at the Medical Centre at 4.00 pm and was advised my blood pressure was quite high (!) I was, however, given the OK to walk "slowly" for a smallish distance. I made my way home, then thought of all my supporters and felt I could not let them down, so I  started walking and gradually got into the swing of things. Surprisingly it ended up being my second-best day sofar!

Day 9 - Not much to say - warmer weather taking toll

I had to leave my walks to later in the day today due to warmer conditions. The last walk was pleasant (though in the dark). Lower back problems a worry though.

Day 8 - Slowing down, but staying in there

I spoke to my podiatrist yesterday. He advised the "shin" and calf problems are caused by "conditioning" and the problem should disappear as time goes by. To speed things along I walked without music today which meant the pace was slower (Avg BPM 108 rather than 118)  but the strain on the legs was less, making for a happier walk. The distance was still covered but the time "on the road" increased by about 15
Much happier I can last the distance now (i.e. 31 days). 
Still running 5th out of 18 people participating in this challenge..

Day 7 - Quarter of the way there already!

Well, I have to repeat all this 3 more times (sigh).
Today saw me drop in steps a little (but still over 10,000). The extra heat of the day made the going tough, and I also found on each of the three walks today, my lower legs were giving me much discomfort. You know, when your "shins" are aching like "b#####ery" and your calves are both hard as a rock. I suspect I need to do a little "warm-up" and "stretching" before heading out. Tomorrow onwards that will be part of the preparation.

Day 6 - Ouch, my back muscles!

I am fairly sure this has not been caused by walking, but my side
muscles are going into spasms (painful) when I sneeze (mostly from the dust in my flat) or when I lay down (going to bed is a nightmare). I have no sniffles, or runny nose, just painful back muscles just waiting to seize up (like cramps you sometimes get in calves as you get older). Oh well, as long as it does not stop me from walking, I guess.

Day 5 - I am recognizing the hard part now!

I now realize the hardest part of this challenge is working out what to say each day in this blog! LOL
I changed my schedule today to take SEVEN walks around the block (in 2 sessions of 2 circuits plus one session of 3 circuits), instead of the one session of 2 circuits and one LONG walk from Blackburn to Nunawading and back. The "block" route is flatter, so there are not as many "stairs" (upward slopes) to climb, but the upside is I can walk faster. The distance is a little longer, and I do get a bit of a respite (break at my home) between the second and third sessions. This means I do not feel as exhausted and can keep a faster pace overall. 

I have also started the rule of drinking 2 litres of water each day. I have been very remiss in this regard, drinking virtually no water (except through many cups of coffee throughout the day). I have learnt previously that when attempting to lose weight and build energy you MUST drink at least 2 litres of water a day, particularly as you grow older.
Well, I am nearing the quarter-way mark for the challenge already (in 2 days)!
(P.S. I knew I would not have much to say ☺)

Day 4 - Some sense of achievement

I feel some sense of achievement to have reached day 4 without tripping or experiencing any physical mishap. I must admit my pace has picked up a little and I am finding it easier to "get my stride". One slight downturn (at the end of my walk today) was that I was totally EXHAUSTED! I fell asleep and slept for 2 hours! (and I already average at least 8 hours a night). 
I remember fondly the days when I used to actually RUN for an hour or so without any feeling of tiredness. Of course, that was 45 years ago! I have found at 70 (or 69 and some months) that it is IMPOSSIBLE to run! It must be an ability that one loses over the years......Oh well...time marches on. :-(

Day 3 - What inspired me to do this.

I was watching "Paul Murray Live" on Sky News last Monday and saw him interview Greg Page, the "Yellow Wiggle" who seemed fit 9 months ago at the age of 47, but suffered a massive heart attack while performing on stage. He survived (just) thanks to a nurse being in the audience who gave him CPR. When he stated that just 1 in 10 people survive a heart attack, I suddenly decided I had to do something rather than sit around for weeks on end under the pandemic "lockdown". 
I have lost weight before through walking and diet and learnt the pitfalls of stopping when you reach your goal. I decided I would combine Greg's call to join the Heart Foundation Challenge with my aim to lose the weight again and (this time) stay thin enough to start wearing clothes that are not just black tracksuits. Fingers crossed!
Thanks again to all my wonderful supporters. Onwards and (unfortunately often) "upwards" (Note the number of steps I climb, estimated from inclines I encounter when walking).

Day 2 - In the groove

Only 29 days to go - so far, so good. A bit of a tight chest this morning, but it is probably the loosening of my back muscles (which were seizing up last week after I turned the wrong way quickly) just moving "around" a bit. Seems OK tonight.

Day 1 - Beginning an adventure

I have started today with a walk (twice) around the block (2824 steps) at 136bpm (music via earbuds with Fitbit watch transmitting...hate carrying a phone).
A walk up to Nunawading and back this evening at the same pace will see the 10,000 steps needed to reach my daily goal.
I then only need to repeat this 31 more times in the coming 4 weeks (help!)....

Wow! Reached the initial Target of $200 before the end of day one! I have upped it to $400 (since we must have a goal to aim for and keep me inspired). Probably not much hope of reaching it, but the Heart Foundation must be "chuffed" already. :-)
The evening "walk" was a bit dampening - It was drizzling all the way to Nunawading and back - I was soaked (but at least my feet were dry :-)

Event Information

Tuesday 06th October

Thank you to my Supporters

$100

Mark Edwards

Keep at it Chris. Go get’em.

$100

David & Jennie Mckenzie

Good luck Chris, in particular for keeping that regime going after your target period.

$52.20

Rolando Chou

Great idea!

$52.20

Stephen Baldini

Chris, a fantastic win/win for you and the Heart foundation

$52.20

Phil Rock

$52.20

John Shortridge

Go Chris, this is obviously a good thing to do for more than one reason..

$52.20

Oliver Goodman

$52.20

Graham Rutter

Come on Chris - set your sights higher and go for a greater number. Let's face it you are only a youth compared to some

$52.20

Patricia Tooth

What a good idea Cris. Good luck.

$31.32

Caroline Funder

Good on you Chris I really admire your commitment

$20.88

Chris Raisin

$20

Pamela Clements

Good luck Chris

$20

Elena Williams