A “Walk-a-day” Fitness Challange

A Gentle Fitness Challenge That’s Full of GRACE!

Don’t worry, I’m not turning this into a fitness blog. Far from it! But adopting healthy habits is important regardless of our age or size.  If you’re like me and don’t care for gyms or group fitness classes, finding the motivation to keep exercising can be tough. But one of the easiest and least expensive things we can do is develop a “Walk-a-day” habit.  So I’m challenging you and creating accountability for me by starting this gentle Walk-a-day fitness challenge

Get Healthy at Any Size

Again, don’t worry, it’s easy and there’s no weigh-in because this is NOT about losing weight. 😉 Our challenge is about developing a habit to make us feel good and taking a step to make healthy habits stick one at a time. Grab a pair of walking shoes, and maybe a sports bra and make a recurring walking date with a friend or your sister like I have here. In case you’re confusing us because we’re wearing the same shirt, she’s the one with darker hair. 😉

We live 600 miles apart and don’t get the opportunity to walk together much. But if we did, she’d be my Walk-a-Day fitness partner of choice.

a WALK-a-DAY fitness challenge that is gentle and full of grace  ||  fitness at midlife  ||  fitness for plus size women  ||  body positivity

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Starting Autumn with Our Best Foot Forward

The beginning of September signals new beginnings. School starts, we’re nearly kissing Autumn on the mouth and I always get a surge of cleaning energy, more so than I ever feel in the spring. 

Perhaps it’s because we’re back to a more structured schedule than our relaxed summer pace. Or maybe it’s knowing the weather will soon turn cold and we’ll be forced inside for extended periods, but I also get an inkling to get organized and try new things. What better time to try something new on the fitness front?

a WALK-a-DAY fitness challenge that is gentle and full of grace  ||  fitness at midlife  ||  fitness for plus size women  ||  body positivity

I (Literally) Jumped at Fitness Goals but they Got Torn Apart

I had originally intended this post to be about a fun new fitness routine I was going to be starting on a mini-trampoline. However, only a day after having a conversation with The Hubs about said trampoline, which ended with his warning to me to be careful because “you aren’t 20 anymore”, I got overconfident and tore my meniscus jumping too high on the blasted thing. Besides the pain, the worst thing about the entire debacle was having to tell my man what I had done! 

Self-Care: An term that’s overused and undervalued – IMO

While I was nursing my pained knee, being mad that The Mister had been right, and mad at myself for derailing my own plans, out of impatience, I decided it was a great time to think about self-care and honoring my body and it’s abilities or lack thereof by treating myself more gently. 

Self-care is a current cliche’ term that I think is kind of overused and makes me want to throw-up in my mouth a little. It’s not a bad thing, but I don’t think we have to use it for everything from getting a pedicure to sitting down to read a book. It simply means taking care of ourselves and it applies to every aspect of lives by not forgetting to treat ourselves kindly; but especially when it comes to honoring the needs and yes, the limitations of our bodies. 

a WALK-a-DAY fitness challenge that is gentle and full of grace  ||  fitness at midlife  ||  fitness for plus size women  ||  body positivity  ||  Healthy at any size

There’s no shame in starting slow. 

There was a time in my life I was a power-walker who bordered on obsessive. I took at least a “walk-a-day” and may have told you before, but I once even walked in a blizzard. A little crazed, right? But over the years, injury, foot problems and time constraints of both myself and my walking partner slowed my roll to a near stand-still.

However, walking will be an exercise I can do while my knee heals because I can do it at my own pace. Walking can be as gentle or exertive as we make it. For this walk-a-day challenge, start slow in pace and distance and remember we don’t have to go from zero to a hundred in a week. Now, it’s time to lace up those sneakers and phone a friend. 

*If you haven’t been active in a while, I would suggest starting with a walk as short as 10 minutes and grow from there.

No Excuses or Ugly Shoes

I’ll be honest, I hate to sweat. I really do! It wasn’t always like that, but menopause can change a person. But with the cooler temperatures this fall season and the slower pace I’ll be forced to take as I recover, I have no excuses not get outside and keep moving.

The only thing you really need to adopt a “walk-a-day” routine is a pair of shoes. And boy, have fitness shoes come a long way! There are so many cute options out there. Right now, with sneakers being a current fashion staple even with dresses, we could technically fitness-walk right out of the office.

Take a look at these from Adidas

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More Tips for Adopting a Walk-a-day

  • Pick a walking schedule that works for you. I like mornings because there are fewer possibilities for schedule conflicts, visitors (a.k.a. grandkids), or simply running out of energy.
  • Start slow. This is about creating a habit. Once you’re hooked, you can ramp it up from there.
  • Schedule your walk with a friend (preferably one with a compatible pace).
  • Choose a safe, populated route if you’re walking alone.
  • If you’re walking on a roadside, always face the traffic. It’s important to see what’s coming because they may not see you! (I usually do this even if I’m walking on a sidewalk.)
  • Be visible. Wear bright, reflective or light-colored clothing when walking at sunrise, dusk or in the dark.
  • Consider carrying a flashlight or attaching flashing reflectors like these to your clothing.
  • If you have a large or “loose” chest, a comfortable sports bra is probably a necessity. My favorite bras for large breasts.
  • Wear what’s comfortable for you! Fitness tights might be all the rage but I prefer the feel of a looser pant when I’m working out.
  • Listen to music, a podcast or an audiobook reserved only for your Walk-a-day. You might find yourself adding time because you’re at a good part. 😉 I recently purchased Bluetooth headphones – I guess I’m cool now.

a WALK-a-DAY fitness challenge that is gentle and full of grace  ||  fitness at midlife  ||  fitness for plus size women  ||  body positivity  ||  Get healthy at any size

Are You In? 

This Walk-a-day fitness challenge is really for those of us who have been skipping our workouts for a few days years. 😉 If you already have a workout habit, keep it going

Mr. Dimples and I both need to get into shape (at least one that isn’t roundokay that’s a bad Dad-joke right there) 😉 so we’re going to start by taking a gentle 20-30 minute walk after dinner. We’ll see how this goes because we already have a few evening conflicts ahead. But I know this, once we’ve established the walk-a-day habit it’ll get much easier to make sure we schedule it around those conflicts. 

I’ll be the first person to tell you I’m not always keen on accountability partners because, well, I don’t like to disappoint people nor do I want to feel like I’m forced to do something. And accountability is kind of forcing myself to do a thing so I don’t let anyone down or at least so nobody knows if I fail. Think my problem might be in my outlook? Hmmm… But if I’m willing to bust out of my “loner-life” comfort-zone, might you be?

So, are you in? We can be partners! Do you need to establish a habit of movement

I wish we could all walk together but it’s just not possible. I’ll do my best to include my walk-a-day in my Instagram stories. If you aren’t already, click here to follow me there and we can keep each other accountable. 

Tips? Anyone? Anyone?

Are you already an avid fitness junkie? If so, what’s your best tip for staying motivated that has NOTHING to do with a scale? 😉

Shop Similar Looks

Both my sister and I are wearing items that are older and sold out. My shorts are from Lane Bryant (wearing 14/16) and hers are from Walmart. Our tops are from Anthropologie last season. I’ve linked similar items below.


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13 Comments

  1. Renee
    /

    I would love to join the challenge when my feet heal. Please remind participants to have proper fitting walking shoes. As a result of bad fitting hiking boots I now have multiple fractures in my feet and am in those big, ugly, clunky boots for 8 weeks.

    P.S. I made your carnitas recipe the other night and it is my new go to! Everyone loved them! Thanks for sharing and I love your blog!

    • Paula
      Author
      /

      You are so right Renee. As a person who has complex and compounded foot issues myself, I feel your pain. You’ve given me a great idea for a follow-up post on shoes and orthotics that make walking easier. My sister and I both have custom orthotics made by a podiatrist. Even with those though we need to be diligent about buying supportive well-fitting shoes.

      Speedy recovery!
      Paula

  2. Years ago, I was a runner, and it is hard to believe now, though. I ran 6 miles a day, five days a week for over two years. Rain, shine, sleet, snow I was out there and my knees know it now. Walking is my go-to these days. During the summer I have been walking in the pool. Not only was I getting exercise but I got to talk with all my friends. It is going to be hard to transition to the sidewalk so I might have to think about the trampoline. But I will start slow and easy. I am not good with accountability, so won’t join but will cheer for those who do.

    • Paula
      Author
      /

      We might do well together Victoria because as you might have read, I don’t like accountability either. 😉 Be patient with yourself and happy walking.

      Hugs,
      Paula

    • Paula
      Author
      /

      Yay! I’m so glad. Baby-stepping our way to better habits!!!

      Hugs,
      Paula

  3. jodie filogomo
    /

    Walking is one of our favorite ways to get moving. It’s better on my joints and you can explore at the same time.
    Now that we are in AZ…our rec center pool even has a walking area. It’s SO cool and we plan to use it often.
    XOXO
    jodie

    • Paula
      Author
      /

      That’s so cool Jodie. A community in a year-round warm climate will likely have lots to do to keep you as busy and active as you want to be. Hope you’re settling in.

      Hugs,
      Paula

  4. /

    Such good tips and isn’t it amazing how good we feel after we get out and move a little bit??? Love these pics of you and your sister – so fun!!! Hope you’ve had a good week!

    Laura
    Black Coffee Beautiful

    • Paula
      Author
      /

      Yes, I always feel pretty good getting it done… until the “after-shower sweats” come over me. 😉

      Hugs,
      Paula

  5. /

    My walking partners are four legged and boy do they keep me at it. They’ll hound( no pun intended) me till we walk out the door. We have good conversations too. A good way to meet new friends too.

    • Paula
      Author
      /

      So, you basically live with a couple of personal trainers? Some girls have all the luck. 😉

      Hugs,
      Paula

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