Fitness Over 50. It can be a struggle. Our bodies don’t move as they once did. It takes lots of work and discipline to keep those extra pounds from appearing and sometimes that feels like a losing battle. My friend, Kim Taylor, has been there. Here’s her Fitness Over 50 story and how she reached her goal of completing The Walking Half Marathon.
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Thirteen years ago, Kim Taylor had reached her Weight Watchers goal weight and life was good. She was healthy and thought that she was just where she was supposed to be. Mission accomplished. Done and done.
Fast Forward to Christmas 2016. One gift she received was a lovely golf shirt – size XL. Size XL and it was TOO TIGHT! What happened? Well, like for many of us, life and everything that goes with it got in the way of Kim maintaining her good health habits and Kim had gained all of the weight back. She knew it was time to do something.
So in January 2017, she joined Weight Watchers again and was committed to regaining her health and best weight.
But this time was different. This time there was social media, specifically Instagram, where she found inspiration to stay the course and meet her goals, even on the hard days.
In addition to her Weight Watchers eating plan, Kim added exercise – specifically walking. Using her Apple Watch, she tracked her steps every day, increasing them as time went by.
Kim soon discovered Stepbet – an online app that helps you to set a step goal, BET on yourself and if you get all your steps in, win a cash prize! Now that is motivation! Getting paid to exercise!
Fitness Over 50 | How Does Stepbet Work?
When you download Stepbet, it helps you set up walking goals. Kim’s goals for her first Stepbet game was to walk 7,200 steps a day 5 days a week and 8,500 steps two days a week. She would make a cash bet on herself and if she met her goals, would win part of the “pot”. Stepbet games usually last 6 weeks. Every time one game would end, Kim would start a new one, adding 300-500 steps per day each time. As she set these goals, her step goals increased rapidly. Here’s how she progressed:
2015 – Averaged 4,600 steps per day
2016 – Averaged 4,500 steps per day
2017 – Started Stepbet and averaged 13,100 steps per day
2018 – Averages 15,300 steps per day
So as you can see, the motivation of the Stepbet game was a big catalyst in helping Kim increase her steps!
The Walking Half Marathon | How She Trained
In January 2018, it was time to set a new goal. Kim saw an advertisement for a Walking Half Marathon the next month. She signed up, finished her current StepBet game and began a different training process, without StepBet.
The Walking Half Marathon training involved taking longer walks at a faster pace. She did LONG walks on Monday – starting at 7 miles and increasing a mile or two each week. This got her to 13 miles on her long walk days two weeks prior to the marathon.
Tuesdays – Day off from walking and took a class at the gym.
Wednesday –Sunday – Walk between 5-8 miles per day for 4 of those days.
On February 24, 2018, Kim met her goal of completing a walking half marathon.
She is such an example of setting small goals and when she reaches them, setting another. I asked her a few questions about her experience and here’s what she said:
What was it like to meet your goal of Walking A Half Marathon?
It was completely exhilarating! Crossing the finish line, seeing our best friends and my husband there filming me – taking pictures and cheering me on was like nothing I can even describe accurately. I was AWESOME and I am SO PROUD of myself!
What health benefits have you gained through changing your eating habits and regular exercise?
I have great blood pressure. My cardiovascular health is amazing and at my last stress test, my heart doctor could not believe what great shape I am in!
What do you tell yourself on the days that you “blow it”?
Tomorrow is a new day.
What would you tell others who might want to add walking to their exercise routine?
- Go get fitted for good shoes! I buy my sneakers at Soul 2 Sole and the employees are awesome! They were thrilled for me and my half marathon accomplishment.
- You will get blisters and you need to get pedicures to keep your toenails short. Nothing hurts worse than long toenails hitting against the end of your shoe.
- Listening to music while I walked wore thin for me. I started listening to podcasts and have progressed to AudioBooks! I love them!
- Don’t give up! I did not start out walking 6 miles per day. It takes time and effort and just don’t give up!
Remember how Kim used Instagram to get inspiration from others to meet her goals? Well, she is on Instagram every day inspiring others to do the same. That’s where I “met” her and I am inspired and encouraged every day by her positive outlook and encouragement. Follow Kim here.
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