Walk the World
Those of you who know me will be aware that I am not quite a sporty as Al and I have to admit that since having Morgan my activity levels have dropped off considerably. I keep meaning to do something about it but there always seems to be something else more urgent to do than exercise.
Aberystwyth University, where I work seems to be having a drive to get its staff a bit fitter and seems to be doing a lot more to promote fitness at work. Taster aerobics sessions, lots of different types of exercise classes, money off healthy snacks around campus and so on. None of it seemed to press the right buttons for me until now. They announced a few weeks ago that they wanted to see if all the staff together could walk around the world in 80 days. To do this they have given out free pedometers to any staff that want them and provided a nice little website for us to log our steps and compare how we are doing with other individuals and other departments. They’ve even signposted some walks around campus taking in some interesting trees!
I wasn’t sure how it would go but several people from the department I work in signed up so there are a few of us to motivate each other.
Before we started I knew I didn’t do that much walking throughout the day as my job is mainly desk based but I was suitable embarrassed to find I was barely logging 1000 steps each day. They recommend that we should be doing around 10,000 steps each day. The British Heart Foundation has some useful information on walking to get fit.
Soon the competition was mounting and we were all comparing how many steps we were doing and fighting over who would take the post downstairs to add on a few extra steps. We were quite pleased to see out department moving up the league table and moving ahead of some of the bigger departments. You can spot quite easily who is joining in and we make a funny clicking noise as we walk thanks to the pedometer.
I’m still nowhere near to my 10,000 steps each day but I am making the effort to get out at lunchtime and go for a walk. I’m sure I feel better for it and can easily add 3000-4000 steps to my daily total. Over a week I’m averaging just short of 30,000 steps so I’m nearly half way there although I’m struggling to figure out how to fit in extra time for more steps. I suppose now that it is a bit lighter in the evenings I should have a quick walk on the beach before tea.
Having the inter-department competition is really working well and we get a weekly update on how the university as a whole is doing. We have already reached Australia so we’re half way there in 4 weeks so I’m sure we’ll make it around the world in less than 80 days. A weekly newsletter with how we are all doing with tips on how to increase your daily steps is a nice touch. I wonder how long I’ll keep it up once the 80 days is over? Hopefully by then I’ll have got in the habit of a daily lunchtime walk and just keep it up.