I walk. A lot. I’ve always walked. It’s part of our culture in France, and in New York, it’s the same. No one has a car here. I haven’t even gotten my American driver’s license yet (even though I actually do really miss driving!)
I quickly realized that walking so much allows me to stay in shape without even thinking about it.
The summer my dad came to see me in New York, he wanted to try absolutely all the restaurants possible. Of course, it was a lot of fun introducing him to all my favorite foods, like fish tacos from La Esquina or the incredible steaks at Peter Luger in Brooklyn — we ate from morning to night, but even so, I lost five pounds in ten days. It’s because we spent all day long walking. In fact, that’s pretty much all we did: walking and eating.
Ever since, I continue to stay active. Unlike when I’d just arrived and didn’t know the city very well, I rarely take the subway now — and taxis even less. New York is really a walking city. The Studio is exactly 30 minutes from my apartment, so I walk at least an hour per day. A few months ago, I started tracking my steps on my iPhone (I use the Breeze and Moves apps), and tried to always get up to 10,000 steps per day (I don’t know where that number comes from, but it has a nice ring to it, and basically, it’s the equivalent of an hour and a half of brisk walking per day) and recently, I started using the Apple Watch, which is even more precise.
During my walks, I listen to music or podcasts, or I’ll have a long conversation on the phone.
I really like the idea of being active without thinking about it, while doing things you enjoy. I’m starting to rethink my whole way of staying fit. I even made a list of activities I’m trying to integrate into my everyday life, without thinking about “exercise” or “performance”. Moving apartments was one of them. Going to hit balls at the golf range, or going bowling. Taking a walk with a friend instead of sitting in a cafe. Anything but collapsing on the couch and scrolling down a screen, basically.
(And it’s a good excuse to adopt a dog, right? What do you think?)
I even started belly dancing again, without worrying about whether I’ll tone my thighs or how many calories I’m burning per minute.
As a result, I’m going to dance almost every day! Which makes me walk even more!!! (I can’t wait to tell you about it, because I’m totally and utterly terrible at it, and it’s hilarious. But I don’t care!!! I’m having so much fun!!!)
All of this just to say that walking is a really virtuous cycle. It’s the easiest and cheapest thing to do in the world, and you don’t even need any equipment. I love it!
Translated by Andrea Perdue