Half way to one million steps
At the 1st July I joined the Diabetes UK #1MillionSteps campaign; the aim was to take over one million steps between the 1st July and the 1st September 2016 and help raise some money for Diabetes UK. Some time during the evening of 24th July my step count-passed 500,000 and the half-way point. I would like to say that I was purposely striding through the countryside when this happened, but is often the case it was more mundane that that – I was probably hanging out the washing.
Since my diagnosis with Type 2 Diabetes (T2D) 3 years ago, making activity a key party of my life has beena core part core part of my strategy for managing the condition. From someone who barely walked to the station in the morning (hey it might mean a bus journey of 2 miles in the wrong direction, but it beats walking right!), I have made running and walking a big part of my daily life.
What has been different with this challenge is making these changes more consistent. My normal target is to maintain an average of 15,000 steps a day during the course of the week. I I am generally (but not always) pretty good a hitting this target, but there are big variations in the number of steps I take from day to day.
For this challenge I set myself the goal of walking at least 15,000 steps every day, with no exceptions. After 27 days I am pleased to say that I have been able to do this, although it has proved more of a struggle than I anticipated. I spend a lot of my professional life travelling, and it is the days when my time has been dominated by airline journeys that have proved to be the toughest to accommodate the challenge.
There have been a number of occasions when, as a result of a busy day or bad planning, I have found myself pulling my shoes on late into the evening and heading out for a walk when I would rather have been on the sofa. The upside is that I have enjoyed some lovely summer evenings when I would normally have been slumped in front of the TV.
Like many people with T2D I monitor my Blood Gloucose(BG) levels every day, and whilst the challenge as not been a scientific experiment from a health point of view, it does look like the increased level of walking (especially on days when I am not doing any other exercise) is having a beneficial impact on my BG levels.
Twitter is a great source of peer support for those with Diabetes and other long-term conditions, and another benefit of the challenge has been to be in contact with others undertaking the challenge using the hashtag #1MillionSteps. It has been great to see the progress of others, and especially to see their photos from the challenge.
The second half of this is likely to be tougher for the than the first half of the challenge; I am soon heading off on a summer holiday, and the break in my routine will make it tough to keep to my resolution of 15,000 steps a day. Whilst I am sure sightseeing in new places will be a greater way of keeping the number of steps up, there are a number of long flights and a 36 hour train journey ahead.
You can follow my progress on Twitter where I tweet as @Fractis and on my 1 Million Step challenge page. If you would like to join me in supporting the amazing work of Diabetes UK, please visit my fundraising page and make a small (or large) donation.