Walking is one of the most effective forms of exercise – and it offers many other benefits beyond physical fitness. But how do you develop a regular habit of walking that works for you and keeps it interesting? Our guest knows how. He’s found ways to keep walking consistently and he shares his advice on the best ways to start – and how to keep it going.
Dave Paul has spent his life working in radio, mostly on-air. Most recently, Dave was part of a morning program getting up at 3:30 AM. Even though Dave and his wife Ava recently moved from Maryland to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, he continues to work for the station in a different capacity from home.
Dave has been walking for fitness since 2013, averaging just under 21,000 steps a day. Dave hosts the daily podcast, Walking is Fitness…a podcast he records while walking. Dave is also passionate about helping others turn their walking from merely functional to a fitness activity which is why he started the podcast last year. At the same time, Dave is using his daily walks to help him prepare for his own upcoming retirement.
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On Walking and Fitness
“There are four things that make walking a great fitness solution. One is it’s effective as exercise. The CDC recommends that we get between 150 and 300 minutes of moderate level physical activity every week. Walking fits that bill. If you’re going three to four miles an hour you’re in that moderate zone. Three to four miles an hour is not super fast, but it’s not what I call grocery store pace. Walking is also flexible. You don’t need a gym. All you need is a front door that opens and you can walk at any time of day, in any kind of weather. Not all weather is is equally comfortable, but if you got the right gear, you can head out and and walk. Walking is sustainable. I’m probably 3 years from retirement now… and I want a physical activity exercise that I can keep doing as I age. And for me the best part of walking that makes it a great fitness solution: It’s fun! It’s just a lot of fun. You can change it up. You can walk in cities. You can go walk in the woods. You can walk in the neighborhood. You can walk with people. You can walk without people and listen to podcasts. It’s just a ton of fun.”
On Getting Started & Keeping It Going
“There’s been research that indicates 92% of all goals are not accomplished and I would imagine that the bulk of those unreached goals happened around first weeks of January. Often there’s something about our lives that we don’t like and we want to change – and the goal represents transformation. So we’ll get real specific here about fitness and even walking. It represents a transformation that we want to accomplish and those goals almost always start with a tank filled with emotion. There is so much emotion and emotional motivation. You could go out and you can just go from 3,500 steps a day to 10,000 steps a day and probably not even bat an eyelash in the first two or three days of setting a goal because it just feels so great. But the problem is that any time that you’re dealing with health and fitness, the results that you ultimately want to see take a lot longer than the emotional motivation lasts. So after a week or so, you’re not seeing the results that you wanted to. In fact, at this point, you’re probably feeling worse because you jumped into the deep end of the pool. And after another week of grinding it out, you start just looking for excuses to to not do it anymore. So the challenge is how do you sustain a fitness goal beyond when those emotions have have died out? And my counsel, the blog and the podcast, are all built on this foundation of start small and think long.”
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He’s the author of Win the Retirement Game: How to Outsmart the 9 Forces Trying to Steal Your Joy coming this summer.
Intro and Outro voiceovers by Ross Huguet.