November is traditionally a grey, slightly miserable month except maybe, for the explosions on and around the 5th. So, I figured a little Challenge for the team here at SustainIt in the run up to Christmas might give us all a focus. Hence the 200k step challenge was born.
The challenge consisted of walking 200,000 steps (approx. 90 miles) over the entire month of November. Anybody who achieved that would be rewarded with a lovely, local veg box that I would hand make for them at the beginning of January.
The goal wasn’t to walk for hours but more about regular 20-30 min brisk walks to get the health benefits. By making it a habit, it will our improve heart and cardiovascular fitness, lower blood pressure, lift our spirits and get our cortisol and adrenaline levels down to help reduce stress, counter depression and give us that space to relax and calm down.
In the end 70% of us embraced the challeng and I found out some of the reasons why people wanted to be involved and why some didn’t. The big surprise was the amount of money people saved: not just in fuel but also by shopping less. “When you have to carry home anything you buy from the shops, you buy less to carry” said Pip. By shopping local and buying less it made a big impact on our pockets. Katie said that she estimated she saved £30 for the month by not using her car 2-3 times a week for her 15 min commute! That’s £360 a year…
The reasons for undertaking the challenge were really varied, some of the statements made were:
- “I knew I could do it and I did!”
- “I really liked competing against myself” said Callum
- “I’m never one to miss a challenge even if it takes me a bit longer than cycling”
- “Having that achievable goal with a prize at the end really helped me focus”
Out of everyone who undertook the challenge over half said they didn’t exercise regularly so this was an ideal focus. Walking for Health gives lots more examples of the benefits of walking so check out their website for some ideas of how to build it into your daily routine.
The end result? The team we would like another Challenge in January with a similar motivator – January target is 250,000 steps. Who would like to join us? Email firstname.lastname@example.org to get involved.
By Charlie Stockford, CEO and Founder at SustainIt