*Written by Griselda Togobo
November, we set the challenge to encourage our members to walk or run 5k every day (READ MORE HERE) of the second lockdown. We also urged the forwardladies.com community to alter the challenge to suit any physical limitations, so if walking or running 5k was not possible, you could commit to shorter outdoor walk or even choose to meditate instead.
So what have we learnt from this challenge?
I surprised myself by walking and sometimes running 5k every single day of the second on lockdown. I have kept up the habit and have continued to walk 5k every day for the past 40 days. I intend to continue throughout December.
I made it out on wet days, cold days, late in the evening and even when it snowed. I have walked with my children and even managed to get my husband involved as he was home recovering from a ruptured Achilles.
Here are a few reflections from this challenge:
- You can run, walk, exercise every day if you put your mind to it. Your body can take it; you need to decide if you want to do it. It is a choice.
- You can find the time to fit in a daily session of self-care and or exercise if you put your mind to it. Yes, you can. As women, we need to priorities ourself care as we tend to care for everyone else but ourselves.
- You will get more done when you are more active. Whatever time you give to exercising, you will get back twofold in increased focus, productivity and energy. Exercise, any form of it will increase your energy levels, so you will find yourself being more efficient. My productivity has shot through the roof despite walking for about an hour every day.
- Your general health improves from insulin levels if you walk first thing in the morning in a fasted state to your eyesight as you rest your eyes from staring at a screen. You will improve your cardiovascular fitness, strengthen bones, reduce excess body fat, improve your muscle strength and endurance. I feel fit and happier with my health.
- You will sleep better as the daily exercise and exposure to sunlight, fresh air and vitamin D will help with falling asleep and having deep, restful sleep. I have no issues going to sleep at night and staying asleep.
- You will lose weight. My weight has steadily been dropping since I started moving more. I do not want to be fixated on the number on the scale, but my clothes fit better. I have dropped a dress size, and I put that down to walking as well as eating healthier, including cutting out sugar and other processed foods.
- You feel better able to cope with life, especially as we navigate the uncertainties of the pandemic. My head feels clearer and my mind, less foggy. I put it down to all that fresh air and green therapy from being outdoors in nature.
- You will feel energised. Energy is a currency that is activated through movement. More more and you will feel more energetic. For me, life without the energy and strength to live it feels like a death sentence.
- The sense of accomplishment is infectious. You will start tackling tasks that you were dreading and procrastinating on. I have picked up projects that I put on a backburner simply because I did not have the energy and the headspace to complete them.
- Get more learning and reading done. Working from home means, we no longer have to waste time on a daily commute, but we also miss out on all the other things we did during our morning commute. Going for my daily walk gives me the chance to listen to my audiobooks uninterrupted and to catch up on my favourite podcasts. I managed to finish several books during this time.
- I feel more connected to friends and family as we took on this challenge together as a #walkingsisterhood. I call my friends and family during my walks. I have also scheduled walking dates with friends and enjoyed it immensely. You can make it a solo adventure or as socially engaged as you want. There is a whole community of people passionate about walking.
So you can see from the above that walking is a new habit that I intend to keep. I hope you will join me as I continue walking throughout December and the new year. Just use the hashtag #walkingsisterhood #forwardladies anytime you go out and post a picture on your favourite social media platform.
With Christmas coming up and the usual tempting festive treats readily available, I feel I will need all the help I can get to stay focused and healthy as we step into 2021.
PS: I’ll also be teaching a Goal Setting Masterclass for AMBITIOUS WOMEN on the 29th of December at 8 pm GMT – BOOK HERE. If you are feeling a bit lost and have a history of not achieving your goals or want to have the opportunity to set your annual goals as part of the community, then do join us. It’s free to register and attend. I only have one favour, that you share this with anyone who you think will benefit from attending this masterclass too.