Definitely in motion on my road

My latest Discardia post is about choosing what you most want and don't want in your life and then bearing those priorities in mind when faced with options (which we are all day, every day).

Here are my choices:

I want…
1. to be thriving in a great relationship.
2. to feel healthy and strong.
3. to be a published author.

I don't want…
1. to work in a cubicle.
2. to have little control over when I do what.
3. to be stressed all the time.

I'm making great progress on all of these goals. I quit my office job just over a year ago, went into business for myself as a productivity and life coach, started writing my book about Discardia, devoted more of my energy to my relationship with Joe, and consciously began designing my life for less stress.

The feeling healthy and strong part has been tough, though, I have to admit. I hate gyms. I have a weak knee and a weak ankle which make running or jogging very unattractive. Really, the only exercise routine I actually like and seek out many times a week is walking. As someone with a project of walking the city of San Francisco – every street, every block – that's not a surprise, right? 🙂

During the past two years I've made various attempts to up my activity level. I tried the Wii Fit for a while; fun, but not inspirational for daily activity. I got a pedometer and renewed my focus on my SF walking project; definitely a help, but not always compatible with working on a book and maintaining a happy home many hours a day.

Yesterday, I think I finally found the sweet spot: a treadmill desk.
I moved my Ikea office armoire to the other wall so the space in front of it wouldn't block our path to the back bathroom, switched the shelves around so that the extending desk surface could hold my monitor at face height when I'm standing, and put my treadmill in front of the desk. There are a couple tweaks needed – the typing surface needs to be an inch or two lower and the stereo speaker buzz needs to be resolved – but in the first part of my day today (less than two hours) I've already strolled at a comfortable speed of 0.7 miles an hour (while typing and reading) and logged over 2700 steps.

I can see that with this setup it will be very difficult not to reach a daily goal of at least 10,000 steps. Also my energy and alertness levels are both higher than when I'm sitting in a chair. Awesome!

Notes on my setup:
LifeSpan Fitness TR200 Fold-N-Stor Compact Treadmill
– nice finished board
– two scarves to tie board on treadmill handles
– blanket under board for padding and as additional safety grip
– Ikea armoire with extendable shelf
– cheapish monitor
– MacBook
– creativity

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Author. Discardian. Defender of life, liberty, & the pursuit of happiness. she/her

14 thoughts on “Definitely in motion on my road”

  1. Working great so far! I’ll have to post more details when I figure out how to drop the laptop shelf down under the handles. A taller person would not have this problem (I’m 5′ 2″).
    One other note now that I’m thinking of it: the right door of the armoire is not on. I stashed it in the closet because I wanted to leave that side of the armoire easier access.


  2. Temporary solution to speaker buzz problem: I’m running the stereo from the iPhone instead of the Macbook. Not a bit of buzz at all. Goofy, but it works for music and podcasts. Watching movies/YouTube on the big screen while walking will have to wait for a better hookup (grounded speaker power?).


  3. Oo, now that would be good. I think bicycles would probably work better than treadmills for that, but ain’t no way I’m sitting on a bike seat all day. 😀


  4. How is it typing while you are walking? Are you able to write at length or in bursts? Quite curious, as I tend to move my whole body a lot when I walk.


  5. Hi Jen! So far I’ve not happened to have a very long writing session, but I certainly don’t have a problem writing several paragraphs at a stretch. I just go between .7 and a mile an hour mostly, sped up sometimes to better suit the rhythm of the music I’m listening to.
    I will report back after I get in a good multi-page writing spell!


  6. The treadmill desk looks fabulous.
    As a person who runs, but lives in Florida and really doesn’t like running in 90+ degree heat, I’ve found biking to be surprisingly fulfilling. Air cooled, so heat is less of a factor, and much easier on the musculoskeletal system. I haven’t given up running (I’m even resorting to the dreaded treadmill during my lunch hours) but I didn’t expect to enjoy the bike as much as I do.
    (Weird. The TypePad sign-in wouldn’t recognize my FB login for some reason.)


  7. I’m really liking it and so far finding that though I might like the keyboard an inch or so lower, I take breaks often enough that I’m not having a problem with it. Standing taller helps in lots of ways!
    (Sorry about the login problem. I’ve been considering a TypePad Tuneup service and will mention that.)


  8. Thank you for posting this. I was curious whether this model would work for a walking desk at work. Are you able to fold the treadmill and move it without removing the board, or does that get in the way?
    Thanks again!


  9. Given the heaviness of the treadmill and the awkwardness of rolling (really more dragging) it on carpet, I would recommend having this somewhere it can just be out all the time.
    Pretty sure the board would have had to be removed for folding, yes, since the bar it rests on folds up, but I never tried folding up the desk while I had this earlier design in play. Certainly my improved design, linked above and which I’m still very happily using, would require the laptop shelf be removed.


  10. Now that I’ve become more fit and have better balance, I’m finding I want to go faster on the treadmill to get my workout. At the same time, it’s becoming clear that I’ll be spending at least a quarter of each year in book production mode, which requires more precise work in InDesign than is strictly compatible with being in motion. Though I still expect to use the treadmill as a workspace when I have extended reading to do, I am switching to working at a sitting or standing desk and taking movement breaks every hour or so.
    One other factor in this shift is that my treadmill (LifeSpan TR200) is really at the edge of the walking (rather than running) category. Walking on treadmills is actually harder on them and they require more frequent lubrication and can have their motors seize up. Mine has, but is still within the motor warranty, so rather than having to replace the whole thing, I’m spending $240 to have the problem evaluated and the replacement motor put in. I don’t fancy the idea of having to do that every couple years, so if I do replace this machine at some point, I will make sure to shop for one designed for walking as well as faster workouts.


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