Will a 20 minute lunchtime walk make a difference?

You may have read over on Life As Mrs R that I have decided to make some changes to my lifestyle recently. I will be honest when I say I am overweight for my height. The way I look doesn't bother me too much but what has been bothering me is my health. I am soooo unfit and as the children are growing up we want to be able to do more adventurous activities together and I don't want them to miss out because of my fitness/weight issues.

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.

Week One

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



  1. Brilliant stuff Sam, a fitness trainer once told me walkingneveryday is just as effective in raising fitness levels as running for the same length of time

  2. This is such a good idea, I definitely thinking about getting my work team in on the this challenge. I really want to start walking more and this might just be the challenge to start that habit off. :D

    Thanks, Melissa Marshall (www.thegirlandthetreadmill.blogspot.co.uk)

  3. I'm really trying to make 10,000 steps on my Fitbit each day. We can keep each other right!

  4. I walk for an hour with the dogs along the beach every morning and it's GREAT for your fitness and especially great for clearing your head of stresses. I often listen to a podcast or chat to my mum on the phone at the same time. Walking for fitness and weigh loss is really effective coupled with a careful diet. It's the way I lost 3 stone before I got married!

  5. I love walking, its my favourite type of exercise. I love nothing more than taking my dog out in the morning, you see so much from sunrises to wildlife. I even saw a heron the other day and we are not even in the countryside. Look forward to hearing the results

  6. I definitely need to give this a try. I'd like to get out more with the baby now the weather has improved for my own sanity more than fitness levels, but it will certainly help my lardy bum!


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