A step further

Jog Derbyshire Coordinator Cat on how she’s taking the 1 million step challenge a step further….

The challenge ahead

I was excited when the team invited me to be part of the Diabetes UK 1 million step challenge.

Moving more, and living a less sedentary life is something I feel passionately about, and it’s great to work in a team that feel the same. However, I have found that it is usually our working lives and habits that make it so difficult to achieve the 10,000 steps a day target. I am an active person, and I swim, jog and cycle fairly regularly, but hitting a million steps over the three months is still a real challenge for me.

In between the bursts of exercise, I’m actually quite lazy! I rarely walk anywhere, even though I know how important weight-bearing exercise is. I believe that walking is one of the healthiest human activities, both physically and mentally, especially when outdoors in nature.

I use the excuse that I am too busy to walk to appointments instead of driving and have too little time to take a stroll in the day. But am I fooling myself?

Getting off to a good start

I found it easy enough on the first weekend of the challenge to ‘do my steps’. A walk with the family and a jog with a friend soon racked up well over the minimum. However come Monday, it’s a different story! As I drive to meetings and rush to fit everything into the day, I drive from appointment to appointment. Or I sit all day in front of a screen as the working day ticks by, even in a job that is based on encouraging physical activity!

Importance of fresh air

Only getting up occasionally to make a cup of tea, I know that a few steps around the house will add up over the day if I remember to carry my phone up and down the stairs. However, for me that’s not really the point. The challenge will make a difference to me by forcing me to take breaks and get outside. I know that I feel better emotionally and physically when I get up and go outside for twenty minutes, but more often than not, I stay at my desk scrolling through emails, or slump on the sofa at the end of the day.

To encourage me to get out and walk, I’m only going to record steps I take outdoors, in the fresh air. I’m also going to use the challenge to improve my mental well-being and make some new healthier habits.

Will I be more productive, happy and healthy if I take regular walk breaks? I guess we’ll see! For the moment, the dog is very happy about the new challenge, anyway 🙂

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