They say nothing good can come from being a couch potato. But I beg to differ. The hours I spent over Christmas break rooting myself into my couch cushions are partially responsible for the creation of my latest (and I hope greatest) workout plan for the new year.
It all began when I sat down with a few peanut blossom cookies and an icy Diet Coke (as one does) to watch a rerun of one of my favorite TV shows, “Modern Family”. It was a New Year’s-themed episode centered on Phil trying to complete a goal to virtually walk (via an elliptical machine in his bedroom) from his Dunphy home in Los Angeles to the Canadian border.
I thought, as I nibbled on another bite of cookie, that it might be a fun way to motivate me to get off my butt. I know in the past I’ve responded well to goals. I tend to stick to exercise plans when I’m working toward something like training for a 5K or 10K instead of simply just trying to get healthy or lose weight.
So why not take Phil’s lead and try a virtual trek?
But going to Canada wasn’t going to do it. While L.A. to the Canadian border is approximately 1,060 miles – meaning Phil would have to walk about 20 miles a week. Fargo-Moorhead to the Canadian border is only about 160 miles, which means I would only have to walk three miles a week. That’s hardly a challenge even during my most sedentary weeks. So I had to find another location.
As I continued to ruminate on my couch, it hit me – or rather Ryan Seacrest did. I watched as Seacrest encouraged us to join him for this year’s “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve” from Times Square. That seemed like a great option.
I decided I will virtually walk from my home in Moorhead to Times Square in New York City by next New Year’s Eve. If I can’t be there in person to listen to pop stars I’ve never heard of, gosh darn it I can at least say I’ve walked the distance to get there.
The distance, though would be a bit of a challenge. Depending upon the route I chose out of Fargo-Moorhead, the distance to Times Square is in the neighborhood of 1,400 miles. That means I need to walk about 27 miles every week, or about four miles a day. That could be a challenge if I elected to just log miles walked or run on my treadmill. So I opted to log every step I take throughout my day, which seems more doable.
For someone my height, four miles translates to about 9,600 steps a day, which is near the 10,000 steps fitness experts recommend for daily exercise. So it seems like an appropriate fitness plan. I have a Fitbit that will help me log the miles and steps. I’ll just need to get it out of my junk drawer where it’s been gathering dust.
I know I will have weeks where I fall short, so I’m hoping (especially as the weather gets nicer) to walk more than the daily four miles whenever I can. (I’ve also noticed that the FitBit and treadmill don’t always match up with steps recorded so I’m definitely going to have to work out a few kinks).
I hope you’ll consider joining me on this trek to Times Square. I’d love the virtual company. Here is the route I’ll be taking:
If you don’t have a Fitbit, you can purchase an inexpensive pedometer at a drug store to log your steps and miles.
I’ll be keeping you posted as I “stop” along the way in places like Lacrosse, Wisconsin or Toledo, Ohio. (Because I can’t stray too far from what we do on “The Great Indoors,” maybe they’ll be some recipes for regional dishes I can share as well.)
So join me, as we put down the cookies and lace up our walking shoes. The first milestone we need to reach by January 31st: Osakis, Minnesota. I’ll see you there!