11:57 PM

I've been there! I am still there! Doing everything to stay productive and constantly making excuses for not staying fit. Let's not add the price of a gym membership. It's over $150 at my current institution *wide-eyed stare*. If you try to go to other gyms outside universities, Ummm, let's not even talk about that price. So, I and everyone has very good reasons for not exercising - no time or too expensive; well, not anymore.

For me, the wake-up call was simple - my clothes stopped zipping up easily. Before I continue, I do not subscribe to any media ideal or stereotype on weight and body size. I, however, believe in health. So, when I think about my body, words like "BMI" and numbers from my visit to the doctor are of priority. Second to those is the way I look. Attraction is subjective for me. I believe I look and feel good for myself. The moment I let anyone or anything, tell me how I should look or feel about my look, I give them the power to make me miserable. *drops mic*

So, my cloth stopped zipping easily. I calculated my BMI and it was not looking good. It was at this point the excuses had to stop. Guess, what doesn't cost and is easy to do every single day: walking.

I know the pressure that comes with sharing a fitness journey. This is not about that and I'm rejecting all that pressure in advance. On a more serious note, there are so many people like me and I know this will help. Below are ways I have been walking and tips that will help any student or professional walk to stay healthy.

#1 Walk any and everything less than a mile.

Where I stay, there are shuttles, trains, and cars. I got so carried away with these that I didn't realize how sedentary I was becoming. It's so subtle that you may not even realize that it's what you are doing. Whether it's in-between classes, lunch, to or from home, grocery shopping, friend visiting, etc, the moment you check and it's less than a mile, walk to that place. You can calculate the distance by using your smartphone or google maps. Once you do it long enough, you would be able to estimate what feels like a mile or not.

#2 Take the stairs... all the time

We are in an era of elevators or lifts. It's easy, fast, and convenient. I know how difficult it can be to climb the stairs and quite honestly, it is so annoying. But it's healthy and I know from experience that the more you do it, the easier it gets and the more tolerance you build. An exception to this is if you are going to the 45th floor or something crazy. If that is the case, consider climbing some and take the elevator to the others.

#3 Set a target for the number of steps per day and meet it.

The recommended daily number of steps is 10,000 steps. When I started, I didn't realize how difficult attaining 10,000 steps is. So, I would suggest you start with a small number and gradually build yourself up. As of now, I'm at 5,000 steps daily. I used an app on my phone called Stepz. I'm absolutely in love with it. It shows the miles you have walked, how many calories you burned, the number of steps you take, weekly average, etc. If you have an iPhone, the app called "health" does the same thing. If you are not a fan of apps or carrying your phone everywhere, you can buy a pedometer; it does the same thing and you can wear it on your arm or anywhere you want.

#4 Get a walking partner

I don't know how God did this but we were created to do more and better together, in comparison to doing it alone. It works everywhere in life. Walking is certainly not out of it. Getting a friend or colleague to walk with will go a long way in making the exercise more interesting and fun.

More tips:

1) Walking in flip-flops does absolutely no good. The blisters under my leg are a testament to that. Please, get sneakers and protect your feet.

2) Water! Going walking without water is like putting your hand on a fire and expecting not to get burned. I didn't know I could drink as much water until I started this. Get a water bottle and you are set.

Progress Report:

I'm a couple of pounds down since I started. No before and after pictures yet, but they will be up soon. I hope you'll join me and stay healthy.

Cheers to freely zipping up the dresses or pants we love. Please, share your thoughts on these tips or any suggestions you may have.

Until we chat again,
Make it a Winning-Week

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