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.
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.