Jennie's step challenge

As the team get ready to start the Diabetes UK 1 million step challenge on Saturday, CST's Marketing and PR Officer Jennie Derbyshire explains why she's getting involved...
 
On a lovely sunny day a few weeks ago I was inspired to get myself and others in the CST team involved in the Diabetes UK 1 million steps challenge.
 

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It’ll be great, I thought. We can spend the summer enjoying team walks to keep us all motivated and we'll be helping raise awareness and money for a good cause. It’ll be a bit of a challenge but I’m fairly active – I like a walk.It shouldn’t be too much of a jump to average more than 10,000 steps a day.
 
Or so I thought. I’ve never tracked my steps before. So, in preparation I downloaded an app onto my phone to get an idea.
 

Doing less than I thought

Turns out I’d hugely overestimated how much I do. In fact, some days I was doing so little I was borderline classed as sedentary. Which was quite a shock. But not that surprising when I drilled down into my average day.
 
On my working days I spend a lot of time in front of a computer. I drive to work and park right outside the office. And although I always try to have a good lunchtime walk, that still doesn’t make much of a dint in a 10,000 steps target.
 
On my days off I’m busy looking after my energetic 18-month-old so I certainly clock up a bit more mileage then. But once she’s in bed my evenings are usually given up to the TV. I’ve been meaning to join a Zumba class for ages but for a number of reasons - some valid, like childcare, some less valid, like my terror at joining a group of people I don’t know - I’ve never quite managed to make that final leap.
 

Lifestyle changes

It hasn’t always been the case. I used to work in a city centre where I parked a mile or so away from the office and walked in every day. I enjoyed it and it became so much a part of my daily routine than I didn’t even give it a second thought. I used to go the gym. In my early days with a new baby I walked everywhere, even though it was the middle of winter and sometimes I wasn’t walking anywhere in particular. But somewhere along the line my baby turned into a toddler who wasn’t keen on being pushed on long walks, I wasn’t working in the city anymore and my daily habits changed without me really thinking about it.   
 
However, all my bad habits can be changed. I’m going to park further away from the office in a morning, extend my lunchtime walk and set a reminder to move at regular intervals. On my days off it should technically be easier to fit the steps in, but I feel I’ll sometimes have to be a bit more creative.
 
Although I don’t think it’s going to be as easy as I first thought I’m really looking forward to the challenge and hope it will get me back in to some better habits from the past.
 
You can view our team’s progress throughout the challenge here and we’ll be blogging about how we’re all getting on.