When my children were babies, I used to pop them into the creche at my local gym (more gyms should have creche's!) a few times every week or Steve and I would take it it turns to go on an evening and I used to burn over 600 calories in a session and I have probably never felt better. I really wish I could go back to this however the fact of the matter is that Steve works longer hours now and I work from home - when my kids are at school I need to be working so I can pay my bills, not swanning off to the gym.
It's hard finding the time to fit in a session at the gym these days
So when I heard about the Westfield Health Walking Campaign I really wanted to get involved. Technically it doesn't start until May but I am an eager beaver, what can I say! Carol Vorderman is heading up the campaign which aims to encourage workers to get up from their desk, reclaim their lunch hour and walk outdoors for 20 minutes every day.
This seems like a perfect challenge to set myself as it is FREE, EASY, TIME-EFFICIENT and I don't need any special equipment.
This week I have walked in all weathers. From rain to sunshine and winds. Because it is only 20 minutes I FORCE myself to do it and always feel better for it. Most of the time I have simply walked around my neighbourhood (sometimes borrowing my mum's dog to kill two birds with one stone) and when I've been in meetings I have found somewhere to walk nearby.
Walking along Newcastle Quayside after a meeting.
I have weighed myself and measured my vital stats. This month I am not doing any other exercise other than walking so I will check in soon and let you know if it has made a difference. What I am certain of is that getting outdoors has made a positive impact on my mental wellbeing. Slouching over a desk for hours indoors without a break is not good for anyone and getting outside into the fresh air really helps to clear my head and has given me a boost of energy for my afternoon's work. I love that it's something I can easily fit into my routine too.
A 20 minute lunchtime walk to the top of Northumberlandia
I use the 'Map My Walk' app on my iPhone which records the distance I have walked, my pace and how many calories I've burned. It's free and highly recommended. Westfield Health are hoping that 250 workplaces will sign up to their challenge next month. It's completely FREE to do. If you are interested in improving your health and wellbeing, why not sign up yourself. If you can gather a few workmates together you can take part in the Footsie 250 challenge where you'll be sent free pedometers and have the chance for your workplace to top the Walking Lunch leaderboard.
Follow #WHWalkingLunch on twitter to follow my walking lunch progress and let me know if you fancy taking part in the challenge yourself too. I'll be posting next week with an update :-)
If you are keen to find out more, you might also like my previous post: Walking for Happiness