The first thing that improved during the pandemic for me was, I did more purposeful walking this year. Meaning, I walked for a reason and not because I was commuting to and from the house to the train to the office and back.
Since the pandemic started for me in mid-March. I started using my weekday lunchtimes for a walk of about 20 or 30 minutes.
Then another walk after work, starting around 5:30 PM or so for a long walk along with longer ones on the weekends.
Some days because of meetings or poor weather, mostly rain, I only got out for a short walk around a block or two or three. The blocks near me are about a half-mile around each block. So going for those, even those short walks add up.
Other Reasons for More Walking
Having no car means walking to the grocery store or the farmer’s market. Each is about a mile or a bit more one-way from my house. All these walks helped me spend more time enjoying and find new things in my neighborhood.
What I Noticed in My Neighborhood
Until this year, I didn’t know there was a handful of houses in the area with pools. Some people even had tiny houses or offices in their backyards. Or used the land behind their house across the alley and the Metro train line fence to grow vegetables.
When walking around your neighborhood, make sure to walk in the alleys to see what’s there. Instead of always walking out front on the sidewalk. When doing so, make sure to do it during the daylight and have some type of ID on you in case someone calls the police. No, the police were never called on me. Now more people are used to people walking in the alleys behind their houses.
Saturday’s tend to be my longer walking days. Because of going to the framer’s market or the grocery store or both.
One Saturday over the summer, I walked a little over ten miles. With trips to two different farmer’s markets (Old Town Alexandria and Del Ray). Followed by a walk to the grocery store in the evening for my every two weeks grocery shopping trip.
In 2020, I managed to walk 3,200,944 steps. With 2,314 flights of stairs, few with living on the first floor of a house for a total of 1,468 miles. Which is two or three hundred more miles than an average year of mostly walking during my commute.