A little while back I wrote about how I’m trying to change shape from something like a sphere to more of an upside-down triangle. I’ve got my tunes all adjusted for the pace, now I just need my walking routes. It’s been three years since I’ve done any jogging or walking for exercise, so I’d like to start out small. Maybe 3 kilometers a day. In the old days, I would have taken my truck out, drove 1.5 kilometers, found a landmark and then walked to and from that point. Done.
But why do something so mundane when we’ve got all this great technology! A very straightforward yet robust tool I’ve found is Gmaps Pedometer. It’s an interface to Gmaps that allows you to plan walking routes in pretty much any town in the world! You can create your own walking routes, have them autmatically done, count calories, or throw in mile markers for interval training. By the way, interval training is sometimes known as Fartlek training. I just love saying that. “Hey honey, whaddya got your shoes on for?” “I’m doing some Fartlekking.” Tee hee, I’m so juvenile.
Anyway, here’s how to set a route with Gmaps Pedometer.
Step 1 – Go to the Site
Seriously, I’ve known people that would miss that step.
Step 2 -Start Planning the Walking Route
At the top of the screen, enter the town of place that you will be walking. Great idea for travelers – plan your walk before you go. I’m going to use Stanley Park in Vancouver, B.C. Canada You should go. There’s a world class aquarium, beautiful botanical garden, right on the ocean. Very nice!
Using the slider on the left of the map, or the drop down box next to the Go button, zoom down a level that focuses just on the area you want to walk.
Step 3 – Create the Walking Route
Click the Start Recording Button to, well, start recording. Now double click on the map the place you wish to start. Look down the road and double click a little further.
Aha! Now you see the red line and you know what the program is doing. It’s creating your route and measuring it at the same time.
Step 4 – Check the Effect
I’ve mapped out a route that is about 2.2 Km. Just fine for my bumpy buttocks. But what sort of damage will that do? To find out, I’ve entered my weight in the Weight field and it automagically approximates how many calories I’ll burn. The calculation isn’t terribly accurate, but it certainly gives you a good idea.
Step 5 – Save the Route
If you are subject to a poor short term memory like I am, you can print the map, save it and put in on your GPS or simple bookmark it by clicking on the Save Route link, or any combination of the three. Then, If you are subject to a poor short term memory…I typed that already didn’t I? Well, now you’ve got your marching orders and there’s only one more step to go.
Step 6 – Get to Stepping
Map in hand, repaced tunes on the iPod, get out that front door and take care of business. And when your fitness level is up and the route is too easy, come on back to Gmaps Pedometer and make a new route, or several. The problem for a lot of people is that exercise becomes boring and routine. Change it up!
If you want to connect with other walkers, check out Walker Tracker. It’s a fun community of like-minded walkers to encourage each other and track progress.
How do you plan your walking routes? Know of any good ways to add routes to your GPS? Got a success story to share? I need all the motivation I can get. This is a lot of inertia to overcome. Let me know in the comments.