Monday, October 28, 2019

some post-walk stats

Official total # of kilometers walked: 633 (approx. 393 mi.)

Average daily distance walked (walking days only): approx. 26 km

Total steps taken over 24 walking days: 1,052,552

Average number of steps per day (not including rest days in the avg.): 43,856.3

Total amount of money spent (US credit card): $938.87

Total amount of money spent (ROK debit card): W1,517,510 ($1,297.14)

Average # of calories burned over 24 walking days: 3449 (disappointing)

Weight loss (kg) over 29 days: 6.5 kg (disappointing)

Current weight: 119 kg

Resting heart rate: 76 bpm (down from 80-90 bpm)

Pressing the advantage of being fresh from a month-long workout, I visited my doc for a checkup and more meds today. Here's how that turned out:

Blood pressure, post-walk: 145/85 (high, but diastolic is better than in 2017)

Blood sugar on October 28: 149 (way down from 199 on August 8)

HbA1c, October 28 result: 7.1% (much improved from 9.6%, pre-walk)

My BP was high back in 2017 at 140/95, so I'm not surprised about the numbers this time around, but I'm ecstatic about my blood-sugar levels. However, those numbers are as much cautionary as they are uplifting: because I broke down and drank sodas almost daily, this shows that serious physical activity, coupled with meds, can drive your blood-sugar levels way down. It also means, conversely, that maintaining the same diet while not engaging in the same level of activity will drive blood-sugar levels way the hell back up. So now that I'm done with the walk, the only way to keep blood-sugar levels down will be to decrease sugar intake—something I'm loath to do because, let's face it, I'm a sugar addict. I don't have much choice, though, because there's no way I can maintain the past thirty days' level of activity. Having begun to dabble at the keto/vegan end of the dietary spectrum, I'm going to make an effort to arrive at some kind of reduced-carb solution to my problem. It's really a shame that I can't just keep on walking insane distances every day, but that's not possible with a full-time job, and I'm pretty sure that my feet would turn to bloody pulp from all the abuse.

Along with the lower-carb diet, I'll need to find time-saving solutions when it comes to intense exercise. The most obvious and convenient solution is to go back to staircase training, and I've already got a weight vest to simulate backpacking. An insanity-level workout might be to walk up 26 floors 2-3 times while encumbered with 20 kg of weight, but I shudder at the thought of trying that. On the trail, walking up kilometer-long 12% grades with 12 kg on my back was hard enough. Could my knees even withstand the strain of the staircase regimen? Then again, doing 26 floors three times while wearing 20 kg might be a goal to work up to. I could start unencumbered, then slowly add more weight over time. An exercise regimen would be easy enough to map out, and as I've written elsewhere, the advantage of staircase work is (1) it's free, and (2) it can be done in every season, rain or shine, because it's indoors. Keep in mind, too, that I lost 6 kg in only two weeks while in France last year, and that was mainly by keeping up a decent level of activity while also eating extremely healthily compared to how I normally eat. So a combination of a keto/vegan-ish diet plus consistently intense physical activity might be the key to my salvation.

Anyway, those are some stats from the walk. Some of them are quite enlightening. My expenses are a good example: the walk wasn't cheap, given all the motels I had to stay in and all the food I had to buy. I could, in theory, try the same route again but eat only every other day to save on food costs. That would certainly improve the weight-loss picture, but it might also make the walk much less enjoyable if I knew that, on a given night, I'd be tired and hungry but not scheduled to eat. Some stats are also disappointing: I'd been telling people that I'd been burning 5000-6000 calories per day, but the actual figure turns out to be closer to 3500. I'll have to be mindful of that from now on. Here's hoping that you found the stats interesting, Dear Reader, especially if you're thinking about attempting a walk of your own.

ADDENDUM: one of the more fascinating stats, which I neglected to cite above, was that, while encumbered, I needed almost exactly 1500 steps to walk a single kilometer. 1500 steps per 1000 meters is a 3-to-2 ratio; flip that over, and you get a stride length of exactly 2/3 of a meter (66.7 cm). Weird, huh? I'm now wondering what my stride length while unencumbered is.


  1. 26 floors in one go sounds pretty intense. I can do 12 floors without too much trouble but anything more and I'm winded.

  2. I get winded, too, but I also climb the stairs very slowly. At my very best, a few years ago, I was able to do 26 floors three times (walk up, elevator back down), but that was while unencumbered.

  3. Well, you know the diet part is crucial to weight loss. When I dropped those 70 pounds a couple of years ago it was a combination of a low-carb regimen and daily walking for a couple of hours. The walking was the easy part. I'm an ice cream addict and I do enjoy breads and other high carb foods as well. Hell, I even gave up BEER for awhile! I'm pretty much just doing maintenance these days, eating what I like but keeping the step count up at 20,000+. So far, so good.

    Any man who has the fortitude and self-discipline to walk over 600 kilometers for the "fun" of it can find a way to cut out the junk food. Hell, start with the Cokes! Good luck!

    1. Yeah, I'm going to explore the keto/vegan end of things, and maybe incorporate an intermittent-fasting regimen (one email correspondent recommended Dr. Jason Fung's diet plan for lowering blood sugar and getting healthy).