Never underestimate the value of incidental exercise. For many years 10,000 steps a day has been considered a desirable minimal level of daily activity for health. I’ve written before about the dramatic drop in activity from our active past to our now relatively passive present. If you missed it then, check out this video.
I love that video because it illustrates so well the change in what we do. Our bodies were designed for an active past but too many of us live the passive present depicted.
Back in 2014 I participated in the Global Challenge. Looking at the website for the 2018 event, it has changed since 2014, but the objectives remain the same. This is an annual event to encourage office workers particularly to get out and about and moving. I am proud to say I won all the trophies available, despite some challenges such as ending up on crutches due to a very, very grumpy knee.
2014 was the year I found out I was sick. Looking back, what I find interesting was my actual steps per day in early 2014, compared to that recommended steps a day number of 10,000. We received our pedometers well before the event started and several of us started wearing them to see how much of an improvement was needed. I found I was walking approximately 2,500 steps a day. I was shocked, as I had a history of being active, but, as they say, “life happened” and I had found myself in a very inactive phase.
To paint the picture of my life at the time, I was a senior manager with a company car. In the morning, I would walk out my back door, jump in my car, drive to work, park in the basement, take the elevator up to my floor, sit in my office or meeting rooms all day, at the end of the day repeat the journey in reverse. At home I was helping children with homework, cooking dinner – there was little time for me to take care of myself. I should have made the time!
Now I deliberately use every opportunity to clock up a few extra steps: kybun shoes definitely help. Last month I wrote about kybun shoes in the professional environment. There is an added advantage – without the heels I can decide, weather permitting, to walk an extra 1,000 steps down the road from my office before catching the tram. If you don’t have trams where you live, here is a tram.
The photo at the top of this page was taken on just such a day recently. It was a beautifully sunny end of the day, not too hot, the trees provided such a pretty filtered sunlight effect and the evening birdsong was a lovely musical accompaniment: I really enjoyed just de-stressing from the office by stretching my legs. With kybun shoes this is so easy. No need to carry a pair of walking shoes with me – I already have the best shoes for that on my feet!
I am extremely lucky in that the tram line goes directly from my work location to my home location with many stops along the way. I can easily walk part way, tram part way. Not everyone has such a convenient transport situation.
If you drive to work, is it possible to park a little further away from work? That isn’t possible for me, on the days I do drive to work my only parking option is the staff car park. This is one of the reasons I prefer to take the tram as it gives me more options for incidental exercise.
Cycling to work is great exercise already: my knees don’t like cycling, so it is not an option for me. Luckily my body doesn’t object to walking in any way, which is one of the reasons kybun shoes are so important to my welfare and the management of my rheumatoid arthritis and damage in my lumbar spine.
How many of us travel to the gym or the pool, to diligently undertake exercise, in our car? My swimming pool is only 1.5 kms from my home. I have reached the point now where walking 1.5 kms is easy. One issue I have to be careful of is exposure to the sun, so I can only do that walk weather permitting. My gym is located at work: I do the same incidental steps as on a normal work day.
I walk to my general practitioner’s clinic rather than drive.
As I am a person with chronic health conditions, I don’t get to 10,000 steps on a daily basis due to the energy/lethargy issues that go with my conditions. Yet. I am slowly building up and each month I am more active that the previous month.
Look at your daily routine and determine what adjustments you might be able to make to increase your level of daily activity. I am a firm believer that frequent movement is better for our bodies and our health than being stationary all day then working out like mad in the gym for 45 minutes. Yes, I certainly do work out in the gym because resistance training is very important, especially as we mature, but moving as much as possible is perhaps even more important, yet so difficult for many of us to achieve.
I know from my own experience with my conditions, the days I am not working in the office and move a lot more I get to the end of the day with no stiffness or little niggles anywhere. Days when I am more stationary, such as yesterday, I will end the day in discomfort. Not pain, but discomfort. Move more. Movement is medicine has become my mantra. That movement is so much easier and pleasurable with kybun shoes.
I have it on very good authority that kybun employees have the kyTrainer at their desks and can walk up to 10 kms a day!
Website from Robyn Dunphy: limberation.com