Family Goals: Intentionally Walk 300 Miles In 2020

Family goals help everyone in the family know what is important for you during a certain time frame. Plus it also instills goal-setting into children. I think doing this is essential so that children have goals and know what they’re trying to reach and so that they can take that into adulthood.

Last year at the beginning of the year I saw many people stating things like, “I’m going to walk XXX miles.” I thought it was a great goal and how cool would it be to be able to say I walked, “300 miles in 2020.” Most of them were double the amount of the year. I didn’t want to make that commitment last year.

Then at the end of last year, I saw one of my friends say, “I have 8 more miles until I reach 400 miles in 2019.”

It caught my attention again, so I talked to my 10-year-old son and we both agreed that it would be fun to intentionally walk 300 miles in 2020. I want to add the intentionally part because there are days that we walk from a mile to six miles (these ones are rare).

Walking Health Fitness Goals Benefits For a Family

Everyone should make health fitness goals for themselves, as well as family goals – but I know sometimes life gets in the way and you can be so busy that it doesn’t seem possible to fit it into your life. I’ve thought this in the past.

I’m a single mom, who homeschools and owns my own business. My hours are very limited, but my health is also important. My son gets his exercise for the week but I don’t. I make excuses and then I just don’t feel like it.

I decided that walking would be a great way to go from my mostly sedentary lifestyle to a more active one. Plus walking has so many benefits.

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Slowly Get Back Into Exercise

I have a friend who went from a sedentary lifestyle and jumped right in to 60 minutes cardio classes two times a week and I admire her for that because I know how hard it was, but I don’t want to do that for a few different reasons.

So I picked walking. It is an easy exercise that most people can do.

We Can Walk As a Family

I like the fact that we can walk as a family. This is a great way to talk and spend some quality time together.

My son is 10 and he’s at the stage where he likes to spend a lot of time doing his own thing. While this is good – as a mom it is a little sad. 🙂

So we’ve picked a health family goal that is going to let us bond.

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Not a Lot of Cost To Walking

We went walking for our first scheduled time and walked two miles. I had to pay a $3 entry fee into the park we went to. Normally I pay $30 for the entire year, but we go to this part a lot because it has trails, a big play area, and swimming – plus it is close to us.

I noticed that we both need new shoes. So that is also a cost that I’ll be putting out soon. I would have had to do that even if I didn’t start walking.

Then there are optional costs involved. I’d like to get hand weights to carry, as well as ankle weights. I won’t buy them immediately because I want to get used to walking 2 miles regularly before I start adding weight to my body. Then I want to get walking sticks for hiking when we get to this stage.

Walk Whenever & Wherever You Want to Walk

Like I mentioned before we’ve got a busy schedule – I like the fact that we can go whenever we want to. If I can’t find an opening in our schedule but we’re home waiting to change the laundry or watching TV – we can start walking the neighborhood or drive to a park close to us.

I also like that we can walk wherever we’re at. If we’re gone for the weekend we can walk on local paths, on the beach, in the forest or on trails in that area.

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We don’t have to go to a certain place at a certain time to get our 300 miles in.

We can also break up our weekly goal miles however we want to. If we’re busy one week instead of walking 2 miles three times a week, we take a mile walk six times that week.

Get Fresh Air When Walking

We’ve got a treadmill but that isn’t going to allow us as a family to intentionally walk 300 miles and so we’ll be hitting the outdoors during our walks. We live in the Pacific Northwest so some days will be harder to get out the door – the rainy days! 🙂

But we will go outside. We’ll get fresh air. This helps invigorate you and it makes me feel better. Going for a walk outside will also help me focus and be more productive when we get back inside.

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You might be surprised how many benefits come from being outside. Here are a couple more you might not have thought about: helps your lungs, makes you happier, helps you digest your food easier, and helps makes your immune system stronger, plus it improves both your blood pressure and your heart rate.

Definitely reasons to spend more time outside.

Will Help Me Keep the Winter Blues At Bay

During the winter I’ve been experiencing S.A.D. (Seasonal Affective Disorder). It started after my mom died and each year around December it starts. I’ve got to be extremely mindful of this because if I’m not we’ll spend a few days in the house not doing much before I even realize that it is happening. I take Vitamin D and that helps.

I also make arrangements with our friends to meet them places or go to their house. This helps me get out of the house.

Health Benefits Of Walking

There are also some amazing health benefits that I want.  It’ll help me tone and firm my leg muscles, plus it’ll make them stronger so that I’m able to hike the trails without breathing heavily or my legs hurting.  A few years ago we were hiking (walking trails with inclines) and by the time I was done I could actually climb those steep inclines.  I was so proud of myself.  Normally my son runs up them and I think, “Yeah that’s not happening with me.” but once I climbed up right behind him and I had to give myself a pat on the back.

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Darien found a field with tons of gopher hills. He ran through it saying, “Whack a mole, whack a mole.” He’s such a silly boy.

It’ll help with my cholesterol.  About four weeks ago I had my blood drawn and my LDL numbers were lower than the doctor liked to see.  She said that exercise will help.  So by walking regularly, I should be able to bring those numbers up.

I also read that walking helps reduce your sweet tooth.  I’m not sure if this one is true but I hope so because that would just be a nice added benefit!  😊

Weekly Health Fitness Goals To Reach Our Big Yearly Goal

I know that 300 miles doesn’t sound like a lot when there are 365 days in the year – that is less than 1 mile a day, but I know that if I’m not intentional with this goal it won’t happen.

I decided to break it down so I found to reach our yearly goal our weekly goal is 6 miles.  There are different ways to reach this goal: 1 mile six times a week, 2 miles three times a week, 3 miles two times a week or six miles once a week.

We’ve decided that it’ll be easiest to schedule the walking three times a week and walk for two miles.  We might change this later and increase our miles but for now this isn’t too much that we won’t go but it isn’t too often that it is hard to keep going.

Our First 2 Miles

We went on our first two mile hike yesterday.  We drove to a local park and explore the trails as we walked but not too much I wanted the cardio benefits.  Darien did find a few things that we had to stop and look at like a tree with a hole all the way through it.

The walk was a mostly flat surface and there were people with dogs.  Darien loved to stop and pet almost everyone’s dogs while we did our walk.

During our walk, Darien said, “Three hundred miles is a lot.” 

I told him that 300 miles as a whole is a lot but we’ve broken it down into easy to do shorter walks and that once we were done with our walk we would be 1/3 of the way done with our weekly goal.  Then we’d be able to take 6 miles off the total.

He really liked that. 😊

~April

P.S. Have you made any family goals for your health?  I’d love to hear about them.  Please share in the comment section below.

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