We can often feel a little sluggish at this time of year, but evidence shows that being physically active can reduce the risk of major illnesses and can improve our mental health. It’s time to get up off the sofa and move more.
In response to Shropshire Health and Well-being Board’s year of Everybody Active Everyday, members of The Healthy Child Programme Pregnancy-5 working group decided that they would like to become “Moving More” Advocates.
They wanted to reflect on their own physical activity and sedentary behaviour. They hoped to understand and improve their own levels of activity and the barriers that may prevent them from moving more, as well as to enable them to promote physical activity to others.
They all thought that there were improvements that they could make particularly during the working day. So as a group they have embarked on a 5 week programme to look at how they can move more. Some of them will be sharing their experiences along the way, which you might help others to move more.
Here’s how Katherine is getting on…
As part of the Healthy Child Programme working group, I had agreed to wear a pedometer for 5 weeks. We had been discussing the issues for practitioners addressing the subject of healthy lifestyles with families with whom they work, and as a result of this discussion it was felt that understanding our own challenges and motivation would be a starting point. With this in mind I have now worn the pedometer for a week. This first week we agreed would be a reflective week, to understand how much, or in my case how little, exercise we are actually undertaking in the course of a day. During the next four weeks, we aim to improve on this, hoping that the pedometer will act as a prompt for this improvement.
OK, so last week, I will not humiliate myself by putting up the actual number of daily steps for each day, but I think the conclusion that I have reached, is that I am part slug! Knowing that the recommended daily steps is 10,000, I will admit that the only day I went over 4,000 was Saturday, all other days were under 4,000 and Thursday was under 3,000! The difficulty is that I drive to work, park right outside my office and drive home, by which time it is dark, and on most occasions raining, so very little motivation to do anything at the end of the day. I find it stunning that I can go home at the end of the day exhausted, having undertaken so little exercise, if only we could monitor our brain activity with a pedometer, perhaps I would come out higher on that.
Today, Monday, Week 2; I am determined to at least get over the 4,000 step mark each day, even if this means walking up and down the office corridors for half an hour at lunch time. I did stop at the supermarket on the way in this morning and parked as far away from the entrance as is possible just to build up those steps. It was of course raining, so I have spent the day with hair stuck to my head, not the most attractive, but hey if it gets me my 4,000 steps it will all be worth it!
And from Sarah
Oh dear being conscious of my actual activity!!!! – a wake up call to move more, eat less!!!!! – let this week be a lesson to move forward, backwards sideways or any way that reduces sitting still for long periods 🙂
This is how Anne-Marie is finding the challenge
Well, all my own fault as I was the one that went away and explored this and put the wheels in motion so now need to get on with it!!! Having just come out the other side of Dry January I was obviously feeling very virtuous so improving my physical activity should be a doddle….not!!!
Having done my week of reflection there is definitely room for much improvement! On average I am doing between 5500-6500 steps a day but this decreases drastically if I am in meetings all day (daren’t even admit to how low it gets then!!!) Due to work commitments I didn’t manage to get to any of my spin classes this week either so am definitely feeling sluggish. So my aim is to at least increase my daily steps by at least 1000.
Week 2 day 1
Well spent the day in meetings and in the car so didn’t get a great deal done during the day not the best start. Got home and steps were looking even worse than last week. So as determined as I was I really couldn’t face the gale force winds and horizontal rain so what to do?? Give in, sit down with a cup of coffee and the TV remote- no I said I would do it so pulled myself together and thought about what I could do. When preparing the tea I put things a little further apart so that I had to walk between the items. Instead of putting off going up the stairs to fetch something and waiting till I really needed that wee I went and got whatever it was I wanted. I even resorted to walking backwards and forward across the landing whilst my bath was running!! Well every little counts! Just about managed to get to my target by the skin of my teeth maybe it will be easier tomorrow.
We’ll share how they are getting on with you over the next few weeks.
In the meantime if you would like to know how you can move more and the benefits of physical activity, have a look at these websites for ideas:-