That’s a close as I could come up with as a parallel to “How the Grinch stole Christmas,” HA! I set a goal at the beginning of December to hit 13,000 steps every day during this final month of the year. After hitting 12,000 every day for the last three months I needed to step up my game and cruise into my 2017 goals. Then, as Edmonton does, it dipped into the -20s and -30s for days straight. I have wanted all of my evenings to be indoors and warm.
Unfortunately that doesn’t bode well for my 13,000 step goal because I had previously been using my evenings for an after dinner walk and some extra steps. It was a great way to get fresh air before bed or catch a few miles for a run before dinner but in -30C… no thanks! I finally discovered the extent of the Edmonton downtown pedway system. Between the stairways and pedways, I can get a nice little bout of activity on my lunch hour!
I could easily get distracted during my lunch hour and read blog posts or scroll social media but it feels so good to get up and moving for at least 30 minutes. There is always work to be done, documents to edit, articles to read, at my job but my afternoons are FAR more productive when I break them up with a walk. If I stay at my desk I get distracted and lazy in the afternoon and end up wasting the day away. I have started recruiting friends for my lunchtime walks.
My friend Gus works across the street, as does my other friend Amanda and I can walk 5 minutes through the underground pedways to get to their building. We usually meet up just after noon and then walk around the pedways for about half an hour or 40 minutes before I walk back. Yesterday Gus and I did his errands and spend the time wandering the mall buying Secret Santa gifts and body wash before returning to work. It’s a perfect time to hang out when we are both pretty busy outside of work hours!
When I get back to my desk just before 1pm I am ready to dive into my lunch. It’s not like I did an intense workout or anything, but I’m better able to assess my hunger after getting up and moving. If not, I just know it’s noon and I should be having my lunch… so I do, without even really assessing whether or not I’m actually ready for lunch or just bored or eating out of habit. On Sunday evening I made my lunches for the week and I killed it – quinoa bowls with roasted sweet potato, chickpeas, roasted peppers, goat cheese, and pumpkin pasta sauce.
If I’m not running that day, I have to make a conscious effort to get some steps in other ways. It could be just getting up and moving every hour at work, taking a couple extra blocks on my walk to work, or getting a coffee from down the street instead of in the basement of my building. I can usually easily get 10,000 steps because I walk 6km roundtrip to work each day, but it takes some thought to get more and I have to try making my day harder (<- a great YouTube video about avoiding conveniences that make our day easier, but are also making us sicker).
I’m so far so good with hitting my daily target of 13,000 steps and I’m sure Gus and Amanda are loving my constant “ARE WE WALKING AT LUNCH?” messages. The Fitbit and my need to be competitive with myself have stolen my lunch hours… but probably for the better. I get pretty nauseous if I spend ALL day at my desk staring at a computer which is a clear sign to me that humans were not meant to do that! I need fresh air or at least pedway air, some activity, and social interaction! It makes for a better day and a healthier, happier day.
What do you do on your lunch hour?
Do you have a FitBit? Do you set goals or is it more for monitoring you days?
What is your favourite Christmas movie?