In Our Own Backyard...Take it one step at a timeIn my never-ending effort to get fit and slim, last week I decided to buy a pedometer.
By: Wendy Johnson, Pine Journal
In my never-ending effort to get fit and slim, last week I decided to buy a pedometer. I’ve always been intrigued by the idea of seeing just how many steps I take in a day’s time and how many calories I actually burn.
While I don’t get outside to take a walk on my lunch break as often as I’d like to, I figure I put in a great many steps just going back and forth to the water cooler every day (and then, of course, to the bathroom). A single trip around Wal-Mart must be roughly parallel to a jaunt to Pinehurst Park and back from our office in the west end of Cloquet, and a trip to the mall – well, who needs the gym?
I brought home the pedometer, spent several minutes prying it out of its shrink wrap packaging with a kitchen knife, and then pored over the lengthy and complicated instruction manual (which, of course, was in three different languages).
Several minutes later, I had finally managed to figure out how to insert the battery, but by then I was so aggravated and impatient to head out on my walk that I simply left – minus the pedometer!
By the time my husband Ken arrived home from work, I was completely ignoring the frustrating little device, but after several minutes of diligent experimentation, he had it up and running at last.
The next day, we decided to go on a day trip up the North Shore and take a long hike at Split Rock State Park. I tucked the pedometer snugly in my pocket and we headed out along a portion of the Lake Superior Hiking Trail. I checked the pedometer from time to time, just to make sure it was working. By the time we reached the top of a high pinnacle, puffing and panting from sheer exertion, I pulled it out to find how I was doing. It turned out I’d walked 3,487 steps and burned only 168 calories! That was only enough to work off the two pieces of whole wheat toast I’d had for breakfast that morning. I groaned.
We continued our hike for another couple of miles, got back in the car, and then took another hike along the Split Rock River and the shore of Lake Superior. By the time we got back to the car, I’d logged a whopping 13,711 steps and burned 542.9 calories. Now that was more like it!
It was beginning to get late in the day, so we decided to head toward home. On the way, we decided to stop for a little something to eat at the Rustic Inn in Castle Danger. We decided on chocolate cream pie.
I hesitated as I was about to put a bite of its chocolatey, whipped- creamy goodness into my mouth.
“Saaaaaaay, how many calories do you think this pie has in it?” I asked warily.
“Oh, I’m guessing about 542.9.....” replied Ken.
(Postscript: One work day this week I went on an interview assignment, picked up a few things at Wal-Mart, took a walk along the St. Louis River on my lunch break and made many, many trips to the water cooler. Total number of steps: 6,765. Total calories burned: 267. Please pass the doughnuts!)