This challenge came as a surprise. I went from 4000 steps a day to 10000 over night. I announced the challenge on social media just to get some sort of accountability and then share this journey with other people. Three people were interested. ‘When should we start?’, I said. ‘There’s no better day than today’, they replied. And so the 5-day 10000 steps challenge began (24th – 28th of July, 2019).
Day 1 – Wednesday
For someone who works at a desk and doesn’t move much, except for a few daily workouts, 10000 steps might seem like a lot. That’s even with a daily workout routine I was previously doing.
There were some sabotaging thoughts on that first day: is there a way to do more steps one day and transfer those to the next one? I was not immune to ruining my efforts to be better, fitter, and more productive. It’s a great thing that I don’t appreciate cheating so I just kept going.
That first day was a really hot summer day in Germany. But there were no more excuses I wanted to waste my energy on. That did not stop me. I pulled out my favorite online trainer and got into the rhythm at noon. This is the exact series of exercises I did back to back to get my step count close to 9000 and burn about 1000 kcal:
I felt euphoric the entire day. I got my step count up to 16000. I talked to 3 people on the phone and walked all the time. Great conversations :).
Day 2 – Thursday
It really helped that I had gone shopping and walked while talking to a friend on the phone. I also did workouts as in the first day … different order, almost the same videos. Lucy has a lot more workouts to choose from. I can’t recommend her work enough (she doesn’t even pay me to say this…so she is amazing).
The only thing that would have stopped me from completing the 5-day challenge was the idea that I was wasting time. Instead of taking that as is, I thought of a solution. If I were to learn something for instance while doing the workouts, I would not feel like I am killing time. So, I transfered German lessons to my phone and learned while working out. And I noticed I was more productive during the day. I had more energy and got more things done.
If you need more ideas on how to increase your step count even if you are busy and don’t want to waste your time, you’re in the right place. Check out this blog post: 5 Simple Ways To Increase Your Step Count Even If You Are Busy. I wrote this immediately after the challenge so… fresh & actionable advice alert :D.
Day 3 – Friday
As the end of the week approached, it seemed the number of steps went down. But that did not matter. As long as I was not below 10000, of course.
Getting in 3 times as many steps a day was still quite challenging. I don’t want to lie here. The only ray of hope was (well, apart from the fact that it would be over soon) was that I began to get used to the extra movement. And I fell in love with the overall feeling a walking session left behind.
Remember the question I asked when trying to cheat? I had figured out a way to hack the challenge. If I stayed up after 12 am, I would get some steps in that would be there the next day. Although, it’s not much and I would much rather fall asleep before 12 am.
I went to a barbecue. Had fun, sitting comfortably with the wrist band filled with steps.
Day 4 – Saturday
Yes, it’s true: you might just feel like you want to sit all day long. But there’s a way to get you going: starting to walk. As soon as you start walking, you’ll be hooked. You want to complete the challenge as much as I did.
My day started with a 40-minute walk outside. I went to the supermarket. We don’t have any close by. The closest is 20 minutes away. Though, this is a great thing. In those 40 minutes, I managed to do about 5000 steps. Which is not bad but still not enough. What was I supposed to do? Walk back to the supermarket for the second round? No.
Instead, I continued the steps streak with walking while reading, watching a movie, learning German. I also did 1-2 workouts from Lucy’s youtube channel.
Day 5 – Sunday
The final day was the hardest. The stores are closed, except for the local backery. The backery is close to home. About 1000 steps alltogether. But I know a way around the backery so I took the long way back home. Great walk.
I did a couple of workouts and walked some more while doing my routine.
That was my 5-day challenge. Here are a few takeaways:
- A 5-day challenge might seem like it’s going on forever. However, 3-day challenges always seem to fly by.
- Doing something intently for 5 days makes it easier to keep it up after.
- You never know what you’re preparing for. When you get your body ready, your mind sharp, and your possibilities open, there’s no saying what might happen.
Apparently, these 5 days served as a warm-up for Monday.
Day 6 – Monday
I left the car at the repair shop and walked back home for an hour and 15 minutes. Then, in the evening, I went back for the car. I did a total of 21111 steps that day (the picture was taken earlier than usual because I thought I would go to sleep immediately).
There’s this feeling that you get when you walk for a long time or do intense workouts. It’s an extraordinary feeling of euphoria and satisfaction. I mean…we are strong beings. Right? And that’s a pretty rare thing to acknowledge about one’s self.
This was one of the best challenges ever. I felt and still feel amazing. Are you up for a 10000 steps challenge?
To count my steps accurately, I used the Xiaomi Mi Band. I’ve had this band for close to an year and it’s served as an efficient tool to lose 3 kg that I had gained while moving to a different country. You can also track your sleeping patterns using the band, as well as the calories you burn during exercise. And that’s really encouraging. Plus it makes you look in action :D.