As some of you may know, I have been doing a 10,000 steps a day challenge throughout January to kick start my New Year in a healthy way. I’m not here to preach at you that this is what you should all be doing, but just to share some of the ups and downs, highlights and achievements of my 31 days of attempting to walk more!!
I took on this challenge primarily to raise some awareness and funds for Teenage Cancer Trust (please do donate to my justgiving page here), the fabulous charity that I have the privilege of working for. But I have found it immensely enjoyable too. I liked to think that I walked a lot, but at the end of last year when I got a new phone with a pedometer app, I realised that some days I really didn’t. On my full days working (I work from home in a tiny office) I would only clock up 2-3,000 steps, and on other days I was hitting maybe 6-7,000. I decided that if I was to have any chance of achieving 10,000 steps a day I really had to make some changes.
And I did! With a Christmas treat of a new smart watch which counts my steps all the time, I was able to have sedentary reminders. This was really helpful when working at my desk, as if I’d been sitting for too long it would vibrate and remind me to just get up and move around for a bit. I also tried to get in one big walk a day, whether that was to school and back or down the canal in my lunch break – to reach 10,000 steps I needed a good half hour block of solid walking at least.
I also made some other changes – you can read my post about getting in more steps here. There were lots of tough days when I didn’t reach my goal, but then lots of days when I did lots more than 10,000 steps. Overall I did 297,756 steps out of 310,000. That’s an average of 9,605 steps a day. Which I think is pretty close!!
What else have I achieved? Well I have lost over half a stone (which really shocked me!!). I am sleeping lots better (when you take away the stress of moving house!!). And I feel like every day I have a goal to work towards. I might not reach it every day, but every day I am trying and that’s what counts. Walking is something I love to do and it is exercise that I don’t have to think about or force myself in to. I can do it with my kids, and it fits in with my daily schedule. It is even beneficial for me when working at home to get up and walk about so that I’m not getting back ache and other problems. Even when it means walking round and round the kitchen table whilst the kettle boils, or up and down the bedroom as I brush my teeth, this challenge has really helped me to put some new healthier habits in place for 2018.
If you want to do the same, then why not try it for Lent this year? 40 days of 10,000 steps. I know I’ll still be trying!! Or you can take on your own challenge for Teenage Cancer Trust here.