Okay! This is certainly not what you thought when you saw the subject, I assure you! But, hey…don’t leave…at least not just yet. Not until you’ve read what I’ve got to say! So yes, this is not a post extolling the virtues of this prime (I’m sure) drink neither is this meant to even disrespect it. Nope! This is in honour of the time worn, aged, good old fashioned ancient means of transportation called walking!
Don’t roll your eyes! Okay, if I ask how many times you’ve gone to the gym in the past one year? What would be the answer? If I asked how many times you’ve been able to clock up to 150 minutes of exercise in a week? What if I asked, what your daily routine is? Would it sound like…from the house to the car to the office back to the car off to meetings, back to the car and off to the house? Does this sound like you? Well, you are not alone! It took the magical object called a pedometer to bring to my attention how little I was moving around when I stopped going to the gym due to some ‘household operational challenges’ (code for ‘my nanny up and left without notice!’ ;)). The first day I used it, I racked up all of 432 stairs!!! Did you get that? In all of 24 hours…I moved my feet one way or the other a total of 432 times! That is pathetic! And really scary given that a sedentary lifestyle (one in which there is little physical activity), can increase our risks of hypertension, obesity, cancers, diabetes etc.
Even our children are not left out! I usually park a little distance away from the church on Sundays, just so that immediately after the service, we can make a quick escape without having to wait for people to move their cars etc. But my children hate the very idea of that short walk to where the car is parked and they will use any opportunity to whine about it!
Okay what’s the answer to this? Get physical! Go out and play football, table tennis, basket ball, lawn tennis with your spouse, the children, friends etc. This ensures you’re getting the required exercise and also bonding with your family. Visit the gym: do weight trainings, aerobics etc. Did I hear you say ‘oh but I work so hard and I can hardly find time to sleep, how much more exercise?’. Then find other ways of doing this: instead of calling the Accounts Department to find out the status of that invoice, walk across there. Instead of using the elevators, use the stairs. Instead of being driven all the way to your front door, stop at your gate and walk the rest of the way inside. Instead of calling the nanny to get you water, go get it yourself. In all of this, the goal is to rack up 30 minutes of exercise at least 5 days a week and if using the pedometer, at least 10,000 steps per day!
Okay! I heard all the screams of 10,000? Was that a mistake? Did you mean to say 1000? Nope! I meant and still mean 10,000. Now, this is the optimal. However, if you are starting out from the very depths where I started, then aim to increase your steps by at least 500 per week until you get to the promised land. You’ll be amazed at the fun activities that can rack up steps quickly. So if you love your Owambes, enjoy and be sure to dance! Not the stationary ‘hips down, backside swaying’ kinda dance….nope! More like the Nkpokiti/atiolgwu/salsa dance steps (hmmm! writing these three dance steps together raises interesting imagery right here! Beyonce, eat your heart out!). You’ve got to get some motion in there! You know all those stuff your children want you to do…like carry them around, swing them around or just chase after them? They all count!
Every little step counts towards making you healthier and happier! Celebrate every milestone with 5000 being the first major one. This takes you firmly out of the sedentary lifestyle group and on your way to wellness! 5,000-7,499 steps/day is termed “low active.” 7,500-9,999 is considered “somewhat active” and 10,000 steps/day indicates the point at which an individual is classified as “active”. People who take more than 12,500 steps/day are classified as “highly active”.
So start small, keep at it, get those joints to stop creaking and keep those terrible diseases at bay! Keep walking people!
Here’s to….a healthier you!