16 May Take on the 10,000 Steps Challenge and Achieve a New Personal Goal
“Habits are the invisible architecture of our lives…we repeat about 40 percent of our behaviour almost daily, so our habits shape our existence and our future. If we change our habits, we change our lives.” – Gretchen Rubin
You may have seen the current television campaign for Cancer Research’s Walk All Over Cancer – Take 10,000 Steps a day this June to raise money for the charity. By signing up to the challenge, you have a clear goal to work towards, can gain sponsorship from family, friends and colleagues, and spur you on making you feel part of a supportive community by aiming to complete the challenge for a worthy cause.
As May is National Walking Month, this is an ideal time of the year to start the new habit by adding short walks or a couple of long walks to your daily routine. You could:
- Walk on your commute to work and the school run
- Take a lunchtime walk with a colleague
- Take a walk before or after your evening meal as the days are getting longer
- Take the stairs whenever you can
- Walk to meet the person when delivering messages instead of emailing or phoning
- Walk when doing errands such as going to the shops for the essentials, or going to the bank or chemist
Walking during work time is a valuable addition to your daily habit because the activity improves your health by lowering the risk of cardiovascular disease and depression, burns calories and help you to lose weight as well as and boosting your endorphins, dopamine and serotonin.
Taking a walk is also an excellent stimulus for the brain, it sparks the flow of ideas, strengthens dendrites and increases creativity and communication.
The Walking Lawyer has some great tips on how to incorporate the walking habit into your working day. One suggestion is the Walking Meeting – have a meeting with up to four or five colleagues while taking some of your daily 10,000 steps. Instead of sitting round a table eating biscuits and drinking coffee, take the opportunity to improve your physical and mental activity.
Ensure that you have an agenda or a walking meeting so that you do not just chat. Go out with the purpose to discuss particular issues and the solutions during a set distance or time limit. A walk of 20 – 30 minutes should be an appropriate time slot.
You need to consider who will be involved and where you choose to walk. If you are walking along pavements in the city centre then it is more appropriate for a meeting of two or three at the most. If you are able to walk at a park or along a promenade, cycle/walking track or at a sports centre then you can have a team of four to five who can walk steadily and discuss issues at the same pace.
As well as taking a longer walk as a Walking Meeting, you can deliver a message by actually going to see a colleague in another office or on another floor instead of emailing or texting. Schedule 5 minutes in every hour or ten minutes at the end of every two hours to add valuable steps to your 10,000 step goal.
10,000 steps may seem a lot if you haven’t recorded your steps before. A pedometer, mobile app or a Fitbit are all very useful, and watching the numbers increase can be a great motivational boost. It is around 8km per day which means you could potentially walk around 240km during June and start a life changing habit as well as raise money for an important charity.
Taking on a new fitness challenge can be daunting but following a national organised campaign enables you to work towards a SMART goal and take part in online or local community supportive groups to boost your motivation which can be found via the website or Facebook.
So what are you waiting for? We are already halfway through National Walking Month of May – but this is great preparation for the challenge to Take 10,000 Steps a Day in June! You can change a habit and change your life!