Are any of you like me, addicted to your Fitbit? I’m constantly checking how many steps I have done. Have I reached my 10,ooo target? How much sleep did I get last night? How many calories have I burned?
Oh yes, welcome to my life, I am a Fitbit addict! I love walking, running, spinning and it annoys me that my grueling spin classes don’t automatically convert into steps which means after surviving the class, I also have to get cracking on those 10,000 steps!
So along with some of my colleagues, I am taking part in a 100 day Global Corporate Challenge (GCC). This means that our steps take us on a virtual journey around the globe and my exercise becomes much more fun than just a daily activity to clear away the cobwebs and keep me fit. Each year the GCC reaches out to businesses from all over the world with the aim of the game being to help drive the health and performance of their employees. It’s a successful program which supports people in their goals of either losing weight or just general wellbeing. So this is perfect timing for me after 2 weeks of gorgeous naughtiness whilst my sister was here!
So how does it work?
- Build a team of 7 (and trust me even that is a competitive process! It’s a bit like being back at school and people picking out their netball team, you don’t want to be the last one to be picked!).
- Each participant receives a GCC Pulse (pedometer) to track their steps, of course you can use your Fitbit or other fitness tracker.
- You assess your current health and lifestyle by completing a couple of questionnaires to give you 2 scores; a GCC Lifestyle Score out of 1000 (mine was 591) and a GCC Heart Age Score (keeping that a secret, you never ask a lady her age!) so you know what your starting point is.
- Each participant has to hit a minimum of 10,000 steps a day.
- On a daily basis you manually key in your previous days steps (any activity can be converted into steps, so my spinning actually counts for once, wahoo!), this then takes you on a virtual journey around the globe and each step entry unlocks a new location.
- You can also use this program to separately track your nutrition and sleep should you wish to do so.
What I love about this is that so many of my friends and colleagues far and wide are taking part in this challenge so I am getting nudges from the UK comparing steps and I am waiting to see who emerges as the dark horse! WhatsApp, email and text groups are rife with encouragement and banter, ‘walk and talk’ meetings are being held in the office, more tea and coffee is being made or bought, people are comparing steps and I am tripping over trainers in the office!
My team of 7 consists of 2 lasses and 5 blokes, we are called the Expandables! (I discovered earlier that we are called the Expand-Ables because we are likely to get bigger!) I wish I hadn’t asked now! Oh well, the tournament began this morning and so did the competition, it was ramped up from 8am! I am on a mission now for fear of not hitting my daily target! I am secretly pretty competitive but really this program for me is about wellbeing, about boosting the following:
- My mood – I know I know, I am going to bang on about how exercising releases endorphins, but it’s true! I have noticed that if I don’t exercise for a couple of days I feel miserable and I realise it’s because I haven’t been out to clear the cobwebs. I am not a gym rat but I do enjoy my spinning, running, walking and regular exercise does help to make you feel happier!
- My self confidence – Regular exercising helps keep any excess lbs at bay plus setting and achieving regular goals makes you feel good! So bring on the steps goal!
- Relaxation – I am a nightmare for being able to relax. Having a mind which is like having 20 google tabs open at once doesn’t help either, but a busy career and lifestyle means that its sometimes difficult for me to actually switch off which in turn makes sleeping sometimes nigh on impossible. I am hoping that smaller bouts of exercise in the early evening is enough to allow my body temperature to increase and then as it cools, make me sleepy!
The virtual journey of Day 1 has begun in Rome at the Colosseum. I have started as I mean to go on by attending a 45 minute, 22km spin class at lunch and a 13k walk home from work. The week’s exercise has been planned in so watch this space…
So as Day 1 comes to a close and I head to bed, I have achieved a grand total of 29,089 steps!
Wish me luck on the 99 days that follow and I will let you know my final destination, I am hoping it’s New York 😉