As you may or may not know, I have a desk job. Yep, for most of the last 22 years I have had either or cubicle, or an office, and I have worked with a computer and a phone for 8+ hours a day. This is not conducive to staying healthy and in shape! (And I cycling at the office doesn’t work out too well…)
I remember early on in my career at the Holy P (a Faith Based health care provider) and it was employee appreciation week. My boss thought it would be a great way for me to meet the people I work with to help serve the “thank you” cake in the lunch room.
So there I was, spatula in hand, handing out cake to anyone who wanted it. One lady walks in, thin, in shape, and I asked if she wanted cake? She turned her head, cocked her hip, and said “You don’t get to to look like this, if you eat that!” She looked at me and said “You know what I mean, look around, you will see the girls who do and those that don’t eat that stuff. Looking at you, I can tell you don’t!” Then she strutted off (Yep its was a serious strut!!) Didn’t catch her name till much later so I just called her Bag O Chips (as in All that and a Bag O Chips!)
I tell this story because she and I think alike. Sitting at a desk all day every day, is bad for you! So long ago, I started doing the lunchtime walk! I average this well over 4 times a week, and people at work just don’t understand. They see me heading out when the weather looks like this:
Just me, and my giant umbrella! (I picked up a big ole Costco Umbrella years ago, one big enough to house a small family. I am VERY popular during rainy fire drills!) I eat at my desk while working, then head out for a 30 minute walk. My route when I work now is about 1.5 miles.
Getting outside does many things for me. Clears my head, gets me away from the germ factory that is my work, forces me to take an actual break from emails and projects, and allows me to come back full guns for the second half of the day. Rain, snow, hot, cold, wind or fog, I am out. Sometimes with an iPod, sometimes not!
I’ve seen high-speed chases, car accidents, motorized wheel chairs running over old ladies, pan handlers, bald eagles, movies being films (I saw a scene from the 6th Sense and had no idea), WTO demonstrations,
and once, I even stopped a guy from ripping off a girl (I was glad I had back up that time!)
When I worked in Seattle, I could get my Christmas shopping done, and NOT pay for parking! That in itself is a bonus!
I’ve come back to work sweating like a pig on a hot day, and soaked to the brim when I gambled the rain would hold off. Oh well, if I am too smelly it keeps people away so I can get work done! It is such a tradition in my office, that people know NOT to schedule meetings during my walk, I get grouchy!
The best part is its easy to start. Bring a pair of walking shoes and leave them at work (Or do like I do and fudge the dress code and always have walking shoes.) Start twice a week. Pack a lunch that you can eat at your desk, and then get outside (Make it really easy, invite your boss! Then maybe you can lengthen the walking time a bit….) Walk around the block, the parking lot, to Starbucks, or to your favorite nearby store and back (MANY times I walked around REI!). After a while you will want to walk more!
You can bring shorts for the summer, coats and gloves for the winter. Hit Costco for your own umbrella. Whatever it takes to get moving. It gives you an excuse to skip out on the dreading potlucks. HELL, once, I took the cell phone and participated in a conference call while walking at lunch! Multi tasking I tell ya!
Get started, start to enjoy it, and soon they will be asking you “Are you really going out in this??”