Health

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Walking Stats 2013

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According to my pedometer and the log I kept, I walked a total of 2,615,596 steps in 2013. Sounds impressive? This averaged out to 7,166 steps per day, less than the recommended 10,000 daily steps. Granted, I was told to walk less for the last six weeks of the year due to a broken bone in my left foot. Then again, the numbers would have been less if not for my four trips to see my beloved pandas throughout the year. Needless to say, the highest numbers were recorded during two of those four trips (May and September).

As for aerobic steps (more than 60 steps per minute measured after the first 10 minutes and continued), the total of 604,980 aerobic steps accounted for only 23% of the total.

I look forward to doing better in 2014. I think I need more black and white visits, too.

Still Walking

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Last week, I managed four morning walks. This is a big deal to me. Mostly, I manage two, sometimes only one, a week, or even none at all, often because of some health issue. In fact, there were two mornings last week when I thought I wouldn’t be able to go walking, but my body told me it was up to it so I went.

I’m also learning to wear my pedometer (an Omron HJ-113) when I go out, even when it’s not for a morning walk. I’ve discovered that I’m actually quite a fast walker and often achieve aerobic steps when I think I’m walking “normally”. Take yesterday evening. I’d gone to the nearby 7-Eleven to get a loaf of bread. When I couldn’t find what I wanted there, I went to two other shops in the same block, and eventually crossed the road to Jaya Grocer where I found a loaf with a 5-day expiry date. When I got home, and looked at the HJ-113, I saw that I’d achieved a 11-minute aerobic walk with 1,122 steps (that’s 102 steps per minute, almost double the minimum required over 10 minutes of continuous walking to activate the aerobic step counter). So that gives me motivation to wear the HJ-113 like a piece of clothing from now on.

I also log my walking progress on two sites – dailymile and Walker Tracker. I log my aerobic steps on the first site, and regular steps on the second. Believe me, it’s great motivation to see actual numbers online.

For this week, I aim to repeat last week’s walk schedule.

Health by numbers

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My latest ESR count is 29. This is from the most recent blood tests done from blood taken in early January. The previous count, done from blood taken in late October 2010, was 5, and previous to that, it was 11.

My rheumatologist says it’s nothing to worry about, but if it persists, she will need to put me back on one 5mg Prednisolone a day, instead of the current one every other day.

The guideline is less than 21 so 29 is over, but still below my early lupus days when I had to take two Prednisolones everyday. At one point, the condition was in remission long enough for Dr Y to recommend one tablet every 3 days, but within a week, I could feel the decline, reported it to her, and she put me back on the every-other-day dose.

For now, it’s the usual dose unless I hear from her.

Steps

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Today’s numbers from my HJ-113.

Regular steps – 16,672
Distance – 12.5 km
Calories burned – 464
Fat grams -27.8g

Aerobic steps – 9,524
Time – 87 minutes
Steps per minute (approx) – 109

Those 87 minutes of aerobic steps include 10 minutes walking from the bus station to the hotel this morning, 38 minutes during my evening walk around the area near the hotel, and 39 minutes to and fro the restaurant where Annette, Yenis and I had dinner with a group of keepers from the Panda Base.

Walking with my Omron HJ-113

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I took my new “toy” for a walk this morning. No, not my usual morning walk, but a meander through a nearby mall. And I made this important discovery …

Mall meanderings are not aerobic steps

At first, I thought the pedometer was faulty. I walked, and walked, and walked some more … and the aerobic step counter remained at zero. Okay, some of that walking included time out for a late breakfast and the occasional stops in stores to look at this ‘n that. Then I made a real effort to walk without interrupting myself. After 15 minutes or so, I checked the HJ-113, and would’ve fallen off the chair if I’d been sitting on one.

The aerobic step counter had finally come to life. Something like 1,862 steps in 16 minutes. But that was after more than 4,500 regular steps over an hour.

Wow …

I kept walking. The aerobic steps counter continued counting. Eventually, it stopped (it is deactivated after a 1-minute break, or less than 60 steps in one minute).

The final numbers?

Regular steps – 9,876
Distance – 7.40 km
Calories burned – 280
Fat burned – 16.9g

The numbers that matter …

3,482 aerobic steps in 32 minutes. Or 108.8 steps per minute.

It’s slightly lower than my average of around 120 steps per minute. But I put that down to slowing down towards the deactivation point. The numbers also agree with my stride estimate from yesterday. 9,876 steps covering 7.4 km worked out to 74.9 cm per step. I’d estimated 75 cm.

So the Omron HJ-113 is working. And I feel ready for the next level of my walking.