10k Steps: On My Road to Fitness

I admit, I’m not a health buff. I grew up in a family who takes daily house chores like washing the dishes as exercise. The usual reasoning is, “I’m not fat, so I don’t need to exercise because I’ll only get thinner.” – which, I have come to realize later in life, is utterly wrong. My father used to be the only one who is blessed with excess weight, but he took a considerable lifestyle change when he opted to cycle to and from his work. This resulted to him losing weight and he admitted that he felt lighter and freer to move.

I, on the other hand, continued to be the lazy girl that I am. I think I just started having some physical activity when I studied college in the University of the Philippines Diliman, where walking is the primary mode of getting into classes because it’s so much faster than riding the jeepneys. I can say that I’ve exceeded the 10,000 steps daily target in my whole stay in the university.

Being a full-time employee working on an eight-hour graveyard shift five days a week for over four years, I find it even harder to find time for exercise. I spend most of my day sitting: in front of the computer in the office, while commuting to and from work, while eating meals. My physical activity was limited to a little walking from my workstation to the floor’s comfort room or pantry and little chores at home. Very sedentary I must say.

“Sitting is more dangerous than smoking, kills more people than HIV and is more treacherous than parachuting. We are sitting ourselves to death.”

~ Dr. James Levine, director of the Mayo Clinic-Arizona State University Obesity Solutions Initiative

I began to be concerned when I came across an article saying that sitting is the new smoking. I’ve also noticed that I get too tired easily, and I get sick more frequently lately. This got me thinking that I should take my health seriously, especially now that I have two kids depending on me.

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As if on cue, my teammates and I were having our lunch break early this week when our conversation drifted to health issues. We then came up to an agreement of using the stairs instead of the elevator when going home. That means we’ll go down 11 floors, from 14th floor to 2nd floor (our building has no 13th floor).

We started last Wednesday morning. The night of the same day, I felt my legs ache whenever I use the stairs in the office. The weird thing is, the pain felt good. Quoting John Green from his novel The Fault in Our Stars, pain demands to be felt. Indeed. I then decided to take the next level: the 10,000 steps challenge.

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I downloaded a pedometer app in Google Playstore and started tracking my daily steps. I’m not surprised to learn that I only average 1,000 to 3,000 steps daily, with the sedentary life that I have. An opportunity presented itself last Saturday though. My boyfriend and I were deciding where to eat breakfast. It was only past 9am, and the nearby malls in our office building were still closed. UP Diliman is just 15 minutes ride away, so we decided to eat in Rodic’s Diner, a famous tapsilogan inside the university premises. Since we’re already there, we spent time walking around the 2.2-km Academic Oval. Guess what? I’ve exceeded the 10,000 steps! 🙂

It’s just the beginning. With the kind of life I’m so used to, I know12304046_10153796333672287_5334934896600891431_o I still have a long way to go to be healthy: eat healthier, drink more water, exercise more, sleep 7 to 9 hours a day.

As cliché as it may sound, health is
wealth. We have to take care of our body before it’s too late.

 

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