Fitness: A walk in progress


I’m currently taking part in the Global Corporate Challenge (GCC). This is a health and fitness challenge sponsored in part by my workplace. How I ended up in this challenge is a story about coincidences. I was at a meeting and one of the ladies was showing off the step counter she had just received. She now had to work out how to get set up. I asked her what this was for and she told me it was to take part in the GCC.

Everyone else at the meeting seemed to know exactly what she was referring to. I confess that I felt a little silly being the only one who didn’t have a clue what she was talking about. I did ask though, and found out that there was information about it on our department’s website. I headed back to work and promptly forgot all about it.

Later in the week I accidentally stumbled across the link. As someone who is always up for a challenge and if I’m 100% honest, a little bit excited about the prospect of getting a step counter for free, I decided to sign myself up. Well, easier said than done. I soon discovered that this was not an individual exercise. It was in fact a team fitness challenge and I needed to find six other people at work to participate with me.

Given that no-one had even mentioned it I thought that I would be fighting an uphill battle finding them. Wrong again. No sooner had I decided it was probably not going to happen, I stepped out of my office door and spotted one of my colleagues headed down the hall with the GCC form in her hands. She was looking for the seventh member of the office team. It was as easy as that.

The challenge itself however, not so easy.

It all started very well. I set my minimum at 10 thousand steps and started with enthusiasm. As luck would have it, the next two weeks saw probably the most meetings, conferences and courses I have had to attend in at least the last 12 months. Now I found myself having to sit still ALL DAY when I am used to hardly sitting at all. I am lucky enough to have a standing desk in my office and when I am not out and about, I am usually standing at it doing my work. Not for me the need to come home and find a way to get my exercise. I usually get enough throughout the course of a normal day.

So now I was faced with the task of having to get out for a walk at the end of the day to get my step count up. If truth be told, I would probably not have worried about it if it were it not for the GCC. I could see immediately how being part of that team was motivating me to get out and exercise even when it was the last thing I felt like doing. I didn’t want to let them down.

We are almost half way through this fitness challenge and I have learned a few lessons so far.

The need for consistency:

The step counter resets every morning and the previous days steps are synced with the app on my phone. This means that even if I did a great job yesterday, I have to get up and do some more again today. It is teaching me that one big burst of exercise a couple of times a week is just not going to cut it.

A routine can help:

The days I lie around and take a while to get myself moving in the morning are those on which I struggle to get all of my steps in. It is much easier for me to go out for a walk with the dog in the morning than it is to try and do it at the end of a long day.

I’m a little bit competitive:

Given the slow start I had, my average is lower than the team average. OK, someone’s has to be, that’s just maths, however I am competitive enough to want that not to be me. It has motivated me to get off my backside and go for a walk even when I would rather not.


I am more committed to something if it involves other people:

I never miss my dance class because it means letting someone else down. I can however easily forego other things that only let myself down. I think there is a lesson to be learned here.

exercise, fitness

I want to be able to sustain this new fitness routine:

I have heard of some people who are trying to walk 25k steps per day. My thoughts? Silly! Completing that many steps each day is definitely not something I could ever sustain (my hips and feet would ache too much). That said, I see no need to do it for the 100 days of this challenge. I want to develop a routine that I can continue to maintain after the challenge has finished.

Setting a fitness goal works:

The challenge encourages me to set a step goal and to increase that slowly as time goes on. I check my step counter regularly throughout the day to give me an idea of how close I am to achieving that goal. Then I make a decision about what to do to get myself there. That means I am more inclined to park further away at the shops or take the stairs rather than the lift. I am competing with myself.

I think I have made a good start to improving my fitness, the next step is to work on improving my diet. I will share with you how that goes soon.

Are you are struggling to find time to increase your exercise levels? If so, you might like to check out my Timewrangling Technique Workbook . Learn how to make time to fit a little bit of self care into your everyday routine.

Happy Lifewrangling

25 thoughts on “Fitness: A walk in progress

  1. Good luck with the rest of your challenge and for keeping up your exercise beyond the challenge. I’m trying to up my fitness levels too – thank goodness for Pokemon Go these holidays!!!!

    1. Anything to get the kidlings out and about hey! I haven’t tried it yet but it might just be something to have a go at in these last couple of days. Mind you, all day at the zoo today has to have brought my step average up considerably. 🙂

  2. Good on you! We used to have teams doing this at my old workplace and I agree: it makes a huge difference doing it together. Well done!

  3. Hi Jen , I’m interested in the standing desk you mentioned? How often do use it, has it been good?

    1. Hi Nadia,
      I have one that just sits on top of the regular desk. It is 2 seconds to click and lift or click and lower. Admittedly it does take up a lot of room on the desk which took a little bit of getting used to. My main reason for getting it was to try and reduce back pain from sitting for hours on end and I am happy to report that it has done exactly that. I always start the day standing as I am in and out of my office for the first couple of hours and I often just have to check something on my computer and go again. I then sit for a bit in the middle of the day but always go back to standing shortly after lunch. Here’s a link to the one I have. I got the smallest variety.

  4. I’m here from the #weekendblogshare I’ve been a walker now for a couple of years and it’s just the best way to exercise, I lost stones walking and now just in the last 7 weeks I’ve started running, I’m due to start C25K week 7 tomorrow and it’s so addictive, even better than walking!

    1. Fantastic Mandy! I’m not sure that I will ever graduate to running (dinky knees) but it’s certainly great to find something you truly love to do. It’s so much easier to get exercise if we make it fun.

  5. This is great! I have a step counting app and I get a bit obsessed with it. I try and do 10,000 steps a day but I’m a little ashamed to admit there are some days I barely break 3000! I need to work on that! #binkylinky

    1. I feel your pain. Hate those days I just don’t get a chance to get out and move.

  6. Good for you, I bought a FitBit at the beginning of May and am finding it most interesting to see how much exercise I do or don’t get on any particular day. I like that it gives me a reminder every hour that I need to get up and move. As you say getting a routine happening is more important than setting a huge and daunting goal.

  7. Good on you! That challenge sounds so much fun. I always try and hit my Fitbit goal of 10,000 steps and I’m always surprised how much I have to walk to hit my target. I manage to smash it most days but on the days I don’t, I at least try to get out and stretch my legs! I agree with you, fitness goals can be really motivating!

  8. I started to do the 10,000 challenge at work with a colleague and it made me realise how little I do1 I was barely making 4,000; when my little one was in the buggy Ii would walk miles a day now he is too big to carry but doesn’t walk far without being tired and where we used to got for walks to the park etc now I spend all my time getting him to afterschool clubs..this has made me more determined to get into a good routine! #stayclassymama

  9. Good luck with the rest of your challenge Thanks for linking to the #binkylinky come back next week please

  10. I love my pedometer. It really keeps me accountable through the day and it can be really shocking to see how little I have walked some days which gives me a little incentive to get back into it again.

  11. This sounds like such a great challenge! I am slightly competitive as well so I think that being in a team and seeing the average would motivate me to do more every day. I wish they had this at my company, I’m actually surprised they don’t hmmmm. It sounds like you are doing a great job and it’s really interesting reading your experience, I would probably need to get up in the morning as well. I hate working out during the night. Thanks for the inspiration and sharing with #StayClassyMama!

  12. I love walking challenges! I actually walk to work (about 30 minutes) each way so get almost my 10K steps in that way. When I don’t walk to work though it is nearly impossible. haha. Found you on #weekendblogshare!

  13. good luck with the challenge! sounds awesome! I just did the Bikini Series with Tone It Up earlier this summer and it was super challenging, but really awesome. I lost about 8 pounds and I am developing better diet habits and working out more consistently. challenges are great for that 🙂 keep it up!

    1. Well done on your achievements in your challenge Tianna. I am finding that this challenge is making me think about more than just the exercise component too. I am thinking much more about healthy nutrition as well.

  14. I like the sound of this. I have taken up walking over the past few months. Between an hour and half hour a day.i think a step counter would be good. Good luck with your challenge.
    Amanda #weekendblogshare.

  15. This is such a great initiative. I would so love to be able to do this and before my health declined, I don’t think there would be many a day that I wouldn’t have managed to achieve 10,000. Now, I sometimes achieve less than 1000 and it makes me miserable when other people post their counts to social media as I want to wow people!! I think I’m going to set myself an achievable challenge and go from there. Well done you and I love the sound of your standing desk.
    Thank you for joining the #weekendblogshare. I’m so sorry that it’s taken me so long to read and comment! Hannah

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