We all have heard about magic 10000 steps a day to keep the body and heart healthy. But how many of us have actually tried to do it every day? I personally have aimed for 10000 steps daily for as may days I can but not for an entire month at a stretch.
So when my coach Arpita Boyd of Mind & Body Personal Training, announced the 10000 steps challenge in our group, I participated with all the determination. I am not a stickler to any program. I am one of those many who do everything 80% and then blow up in the most crucial 20% last leg. To make it easier to understand, I do strict diet on weekdays and when the scale is about to move to left I blow it up all on weekend.
In my nutrition program “Transform” by Arpita Boyd , we have to do 10000 steps every day and it didn’t feel like a big deal doing this challenge. I knew this was going to be tough for me as I get tired easily and apart from the 10000 steps we also had to do our daily workout as planned for us. There was no way we could skip our workout for getting the steps.
The challenge was designed in different way. The step count was increasing every week :
Sept 1st to 7th – 10000 Steps
Sept 8th to 14th – 11000 Steps
Sept 15 to Sept 21. 12000 Steps
Sept 22 to 30. 13000 Steps
For me the last week seemed challenging with 13000 steps. Nevertheless I decided to give my best shot to complete the challenge.
The week 1 was easy breezy as it was normal 10000 steps and It was quite doable
Week 2 however had its own challenges. Ganesh festival was in this week and it gets really busy with preparations. Guests, cooking and celebration. For the first time in my life ever, I woke up early on that day and I finished my workout to ensure I will get those steps. By evening I was around 8000 and supremely tired but I still walked around the house till I got 11000 steps .That whole week was tough. By the end of that week I was pretty exhausted but still very much determined to be in the race.
Week 3 was better than week 2 but it was getting harder for sure as I didn’t have rest day. My body needs at least one day of complete rest and I didn’t get any for two weeks and exhaustion was setting in. But I decided to do it and kept going . In week 3 Leslie sanson helped me a lot. She has these bubbly 10-15 minute Youtube videos which you can do in between. I also found a video which promised 10000 steps in an hour but I had no patience for it. There was a day in this week where my feet badly ached. I was sure I was going to give up but thankfully I made it.
Week 4 – The homestretch is often the toughest and it had two extra days to make things tougher. For 13000 steps, apart from my workout I did an extra walking workout to get these steps. But I had become smarter and planned my activities accordingly. For instance it was easier to get steps on cardio days than on strength workout days. So on strength days I planned my errands and grocery shopping that made me walking necessary and didn’t feel like exercise. This was hard week for sure but I made it! Yay! I actually walked 3,35,000 steps in September!
When I reflect on this challenge I learnt many things about the challenge and myself.
First to give the credit to my coach Arpita Boyd, she designed the challenge in a very interesting manner and gamified it with a buddy assigned to each participant and declared an additional prize for the winning duo. She would cheer us up every morning and we were supposed to post the screenshot with the number of steps and the date on that message. It was fun to check who was posting it first and motivating their partner. Being responsible to someone’s success makes it easier for you to try harder. So having a partner cheering me up and community jointly doing this challenge was really fun.
Secondly, it gave a huge boost to my morale. I have never won any competition in my life or completed any challenge so it made me really feel good about myself especially getting up early on busy days to get these steps. Now I am ready to participate in these fitness challenges more.
Third, I can move much more than I thought I could and now it has become a habit. While on this challenge, I was constantly thinking about the ways of how to increase my step count and now it has become a habit. So now I walk while talking on the phone, brushing my teeth, watching some TV show, walk after every meal and even while lunch or dinner being cooked and while tea is brewing and even when i am using Microwave oven for a minute! In fact while writing this blog, I have stood up twice and took a small walk around the table. No kidding!
In terms of results, I checked my weekly weight log and see I have reduced 1.2 kgs over a month so I am very happy about it.
After the challenge finished , I took a day off and rested as I really needed that but now I am back on track. I am doing 10000 steps again and they feel so easy and good!