A long time ago, when I was 16, I had back surgery for scoliosis. My scoliosis was very bad, and I am grateful, even though what was state-of-the-art 40 years ago might now be considered somewhat crude.
Following my recovery from that surgery, my surgeon told me that I must take 3 walks of about 1/2 mile every day for the rest of my life. I remember asking if I could take 1 longer walk instead, and he told me no, that the effects would not be the same. For a year or two I followed his directive. Then I started varying my walks and becoming inconsistent. Often I only took one long walk per day. When George became ill, I gradually stopped doing even that.
This year one of my goals has been to walk more. Mostly I simply want to be stronger, but I was also frustrated at not being able to manage some steep hiking in the fall, and I want to be able to do as much as I can. I'd like to be able to take at least short hikes on uneven and even steep terrain. I'd like to ride my bike again. Walking, on both paved and unpaved terrain seemed like a good start. I already had a fitbit and I started using it again. Through March and into early April I managed to average between 70,000 and 84,000 steps every week, but I did not manage 10k everyday. Each week there would be a day I simply was too stiff and sore and tired to move, but I didn't worry about it because my totals were good.
Then I realized that I needed to be more consistent, and perhaps also more moderate in my approach. In the last two weeks I have managed to walk 10k everyday. And although my weekly totals have been lower, I have actually felt better, and find myself doing more. I have also finally understood what Dr. Dixon meant 41 years ago, when he told me that three short walks were better than one long one. I don't mind a long walk. In fact I enjoy it. But I can't take one long hike in the morning, and then just do routine tasks and walking for the rest of the day, unless I am spending the day on my feet moving around (ie walking). 7k or 8k early and then only 2k - 3k later doesn't work. I can finesse an actual midday walk because I don't tend to sit for hours on end, but whatever I do, I must take a walk in the evening, after dinner, and that walk must be at least 1/2 mile but preferably more, which really is not all that long, but it is more than just down to the end of my street and back.
I suspect that these two things, a morning walk and an evening walk are the critical points, at least for me, and possibly for others in the bad back, aging or arthritic camps. The timing of walks may be even more critical than number of steps overall in that we all have days where we can do more and days where we can do less. In the meantime I'll keep up my steps and I am planning a few more ambitious walks/hikes. Once I feel more secure with that, I'll tackle the bike.
The small silver llama figurines were my grandmothes. They live on the shelf below my tv and make me smile, although I see that they need polishing again. And yes, it is worth having silver objects out where they can be seen, even if it means polishing them occasionally.