I am fortunate to work at an organization that places an emphasis on employee health and wellness. It’s truly built right into the core of the institute, which has a gym, squash court, change rooms, and showers in the actual building. Throughout the year, staff are encouraged to participate in various health and wellness challenges. In January we set goals for minutes of physical activity, and the team with members that met their personal goals and scored the highest average minutes per member was awarded a lunch at the bistro.
This month, we’ve been participating in a kilometer challenge. Participants sent in their personal goals for number of kilometers they hoped to walk, run, bike, or swim in the month of May, and then teams of roughly equal total goals were made based on those numbers.
The one slightly odd thing about the challenge is that all kilometers count equally, no matter how they are traveled: swimming a kilometer counts just the same as cycling a kilometer. Of course, the former would take me at least half an hour, and the latter would take me around 2 and a half minutes, so there’s a bit of an advantage for the cyclists out there! As it turns out, one of the staff members does a lot of cycling, and he is his own one-person team. In 2015, he apparently covered 1300 kilometers in the month!
I decided to set my personal goal somewhat “low” in case I had a rough month for whatever reason. I really don’t like to miss out on goals I set for myself! I decided 6.4km/day was fair considering I usually walk around a kilometer and a half to and from work each day. An extra 5km/day seemed very doable, especially because I knew there would be some days when I would be running upwards of 15km.
I can have a bit of a competitive streak in me at times, and participating in this challenge this month has pushed me to walk, run, or bike a little bit more than I otherwise would have. There were evenings in early May, when it wasn’t very nice out yet, that I would hop on my bike trainer and watch some TV instead of watching TV at my desk. As the weather got nicer, I was inspired to change my trainer tire over (there’s a blog post about that coming soon!) so that I could take my bike outside and explore the city. Any excuse to get to and from a destination using my own two legs was motivation for me!
And how have I done with respect to my goal? Well, I reached the 200km mark about halfway through the challenge! Assuming my bike ride tonight goes as planned, my total will be 401 kilometers for the month. (And yes – I planned my bike ride distance so as to double my original goal.) Regardless of whether my team “wins” (it doesn’t look like we will, as we’re currently in third, and the one-man team has about 200kms on us!), it was a great challenge, lots of fun, and for me, a good motivator to get out and move!