Jennie’s step challenge

As we’re so passionate about keeping active at shift we’ve decided to put our money where our mouth is and sign up for the Diabetes UK 1 million steps challenge.Starting on 1 July and finishing on 29 September, the challenge involves reaching 1 million steps. That’s an average of at least 10,000 steps every day and around 500 miles over the course of the challenge. shift’s Marketing and PR Officer Jennie Derbyshire explains why she’s getting involved…

Dreams of an active summer

On a lovely sunny day a few weeks ago I was inspired to get involved in the Diabetes UK 1 million steps challenge.

It’ll be great, I thought. We can spend the summer enjoying team walks to keep us all motivated. Plus 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 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 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, 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 I didn’t 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. I’ll 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.

I don’t think it’s going to be as easy as I first thought. But I’m really looking forward to the challenge. Hopefully it will get me back in to some better habits from the past.

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