National Walking Month, held all through May, is a campaign to get everyone walking and to recognise that walking is one of the easiest ways to be more active and become healthier.
Lorna Leach, Relationship Manager at London Sport, showed huge amounts of enthusiasm for National Walking Month and our campaign #LDNMovesMe, as she took on the challenge of completing 20,000 steps a day, sharing her journey on social media ‘every step of the way’.
May was National Walking Month and I set myself a challenge, I decided to walk at least 20,000 steps every day. Why? Well I do 10,000 easily most days, thanks to my daily activities of walking to and from the station and taking a 40-minute lunchtime walk. I felt that if health experts are advising 10,000 steps to keep healthy that I should experience what it’s like to try and find 10,000 steps in a day
Life is complex, work is busy, family and friends are a priority and you have look after yourself as well. Where can you fit the walking in? 20,000 is approximately 10 miles a day, and I won’t pretend that it was easy to achieve them, although the day I spent with my friend and her 3-year-old son, was very easy as we ran around the park all day!
I did the practical things that anyone could do:
- Walking to work. I already walk from my house to the station and back every day, but I decided to make use of the fact that I have some obvious points on my commute across London where I could introduce walking. Instead of getting the tube, I decided to walk from my mainline station to the office, adding 1 hour 9 minutes of walking to my tally.
- Taking the stairs up and down from our second-floor office.
- Getting off a tube stop early, or walking to the next one (usually only adding 10 minutes to my trip at most – although the hike through Barnet to get to Cockfosters took 40 minutes!
- Making every meeting a walking meeting (thank you patient London Sport colleagues)
I did the less practical things:
- Zig zagging across the Thames bridges to put in an extra 1,000 steps
- Walking around and around the block by my house until I hit 20,000
- Making rounds of tea for the office and bringing each cup back from the kitchen one at a time
Walking 20,000 steps every day gave me tired legs but it also gave me a new understanding of time – 20 minutes = 2000 steps (for me – I like an amble). I got to know how central London is laid out above ground, connecting bits I know well with each other. It gave me time to ponder over the things that happened during my day and put them into perspective, or create new ideas and action plans, and when I didn’t want to think, I had the company of Desert Island Discs and audiobooks.
My highlight was doing this challenge in London. I’ve always loved London especially the Thames and it’s many bridges but this challenge opened my eyes to more than just the ever-changing moods of the Thames because I had a genuine excuse to explore London’s parks, my favourites being: Wandle Valley, Alexandra Park in Haringey, Oak Hill Park in Barnet and Greenwich Park.
It might be June, but I haven’t stopped walking more, I’m still getting off at Embankment and walking the last part of my commute. I’m still going for walking meetings, I’ve just stopped making one tea at a time.