Step Forwards

Incorporating Movement into your Day and How My Challenge is Going

When I signed up to do a 10 000 steps a day challenge to raise money for Cancer Research UK, I had in my head thoughts of rising from my ‘at home’ desk at 5.30pm, throwing on a pair of trainers and striding out into the warm Spring weather on a long dusk dog walk; taking lunch breaks in parks, walking through trees and early daffodils; nipping out for a quick walk around the block before starting work at the home office.

It didn’t quite work out like that.

Between signing up and starting the challenge a number of things happened:

  1. I moved back to being office based – adding over an hour of commute time to my day.
  2. I went from working 3.5 days a week to 5.5 days.  And these were full on days where sometimes my lunch break was a quick sandwich in the car between appointments.
  3. Spring was not in a hurry.
  4. I kept getting poorly. Not very poorly, but poorly enough that some days walking 5 miles was not going to happen.

I realised quite early on that I was going to need to be creative if I was going to be in with a chance of completing the challenge.  

So, with this in mind, here are some of the things I have done to get my steps up.

  1. Walking to appointments. Instead of driving to every appointment in my day job, I started walking to everything within 10 minutes of me to boost steps. This also applies to walks to the shops, post office, coffee shop etc.
  2. Parking slightly further away – further up the road, further back in the car park – and walking the rest of the distance.
  3. Taking the stairs – and on occasion making reasons to take the stairs more often – such as going upstairs to the toilet as opposed to staying on the same floor or taking the dog out in the morning even if it someone else’s turn.
  4. Using standing time to get extra steps. I got a lot of my steps by lightly jogging or side stepping through activities I would usually stand still for – things like cleaning my teeth, ironing, cooking and photocopying all became opportunities to add steps.
  5. Taking a Zumba class for pleasure. Although I didn’t include my teaching in my step count, I took other people’s classes through my challenge, and also took trainings, and these steps all counted towards the target.

In truth, I wish I had the time to take a rambling 2 hour walk in the sunshine every day. But life isn’t always that forgiving, and these tricks have really helped the numbers to keep ticking over. A word of warning however, if you plan to jog on the spot for 20 minutes whilst watching TV, then get the consent of whoever you are watching with.  It can get very aggravating very quickly.

There is still time to sponsor me:

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