a peek inside the fishbowl

18 Nov, 2010

Know More Do More: counting our steps

Posted by andrea tomkins in: - Know More Do More

This is the KMDM challenge that has been stalling us so badly:

Borrow pedometers from the library or public health unit and see who takes the most steps. Children should take approximately 11,000 to 13,000 steps per day.

It took me WEEKS to organize this, but we did it.

Apparently the magic number for adults is 10,000 steps. Experts tell us that if we can pull of 10,000 steps every day we’re on track to good health. I can’t say I disagree with this. 10,000 is a good number and it’s not a totally impossible goal. 

Walking is good for us. I know it’s good for me. Walking is what saved my sanity after Sarah was born. Every night after dinner I’d go out and do a brisk circuit of The Neighborhood Route. Same route, every night. I didn’t even have music to keep me company. It was just me, in the dark, alone with my thoughts and my breathing. The last three blocks I always tried to run, which was totally awkward because I had to hold onto my jiggly bits while I ran. (Isn’t that an image?) Gack. THANK GOD IT WAS DARK.

1) Walking is good for my brain. Walking promotes good mental health. As an additional side benefit, when the distractions are cleared away they make room for creative ideas.

2) Walking is good for my body. It’s how I lost my baby weight. It’s easy cardio and it’s relatively cheap. All you need is a pair of shoes. All you need to do is want to do it.

So our latest KMDM activity (it’s taken me awhile to complete it) was to count our steps. Everyone took a turn with my pedometer and used it during an average kind of day i.e. a work day or school day. Here are the results:

Me: 9,263
Emma: 9,300
Sarah: 17,314 (!)

I don’t know if the pedometer was out of whack but knowing what her day is like I have a feeling that this number is give or take a thousand steps accurate for Sarah.

All in all, we’re walkers who are very lucky to live in a fairly walkable neighborhood.

We walk to school and to the post office. Mark walks to the bus stop. We walk to and fro, hither and yon, here and there to the park and to swimming lessons and to our friend’s houses. Now that Piper has come into our lives we’ve taken this walking thing to a whole new level. Piper needs a walk after dinner every night and bad weather is no longer an excuse to stay home.

Also, when we bought the car, I started parking at the very end of the lot for fear of dinging someone (or being dinged myself). And you know what, it’s fun. I like walking across the parking lot, making lists in my head and crossing them off. I like pushing the shopping cart with the girls hanging off the sides. We pretend we’re a train and run screaming across the pavement. Sometimes we pretend we’re going to crash.

I’ve come to realize that the best kind of exercise is to find something you enjoy doing, and do it. And walking fits the bill for me.

The next activity is going to be a good one, one you will want to do with me. So stay tuned.

This post is part of the Know More Do More initiative which was spearheaded by the Champlain Cardiovascular Disease Prevention Network. KMDM is about empowering parents and inspiring them to take charge of their children’s health by taking easy steps to increase activity levels and improve eating habits. I’m one of two champion families who has been asked to take this challenge. You can join too. Check out the official website for more information. If you’re blogging about your participation, please let me know so we can cheer each other on! You can read all of my past weekly challenges here.

3 Responses to "Know More Do More: counting our steps"

1 | Ginger

November 18th, 2010 at 11:29 pm


I wish we lived in a place where we could walk more to do our daily things. I suppose that Texas will never be like that. Everything is so far apart here. We just have to find other ways to get our steps in! :)

2 | Chad

November 19th, 2010 at 9:00 am


I was inspired to go out and buy a pedometer last night, this will help me gear up for my Jan. 1 goal of walking to work (approx. 45 mins.), it’s 8 am and I’ve already got 2000 steps in a combined bus and walking commute this am, this is a great tool for self-motivation, I will bookmark the know more do more site thanks

3 | Jennifer

November 19th, 2010 at 7:54 pm


Sarah rocks! Awesome number even if it is off a little. You should also strap one to Piper, that would be an interesting number! How do you get the pedometer at the library?

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My name is Andrea and I live in the Westboro area of Ottawa with my husband Mark and our dog Piper who is kind of a big deal on Instagram. We also have two human offspring: Emma (24) and Sarah (22). During the day I work as a writer at the Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre. I am a longtime Ottawa blogger and I've occupied this little corner of the WWW since 1999. The Fishbowl is my whiteboard, water cooler, and journal, all rolled into one. I'm passionate about healthy living, arts and culture, travel, great gear, good food, and sharing the best of Ottawa. I also love vegetables, photography, gadgets, and great design.

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