By Amy Baranski
Since my last update I've run a mile almost every day. I did skip a day.
I spent the majority of my work week prepping training materials for a workshop that my client will deliver in Istanbul next week. I've been managing content for a couple PowerPoint presentations and updating web content and SharePoint lists. It's the kind of job that requires a dedicated set of three to four hours to one task. When you have two or more tasks to finish in a day you end up working from 6am-6pm and hopefully with a 30 minute lunch break.
This can, and often, translates to sitting down for 9 plus hours all day. And sitting can kill you.
Running a mile a day is a small (read: achievable) challenge that will hopefully inspire a broader lifestyle change (like running more than a mile, or acquiring a standing desk for the it-pays-the-bills job). Interestingly, in their recommendations for adult exercise, the Center for Disease Control does not mention the recent study that sitting down all day poorly affects your heath. For maintenance or "important health benefits" they recommend only getting "two hours and thirty minutes of moderate intensity aerobic activity a week." That's 150 minutes each week, and it doesn't seem like much.
The federal guidelines also do not take into consideration this study, published in the March 24/31 edition of the Journal of the American Medical Association in 2010 on the amount of exercise women need to simply maintain their weight let alone gain greater health benefits. This study garnered a lot of press. I remember the headlines feeding into a kind of frenzy that an hour a day wasn't good enough to shed the pounds.
Encouragingly, the CDC site does state: "If you haven't been very active lately, increase your activity level slowly." A mile-a-day for a month should do the trick. But, there has to be something more to this monthly routine, especially considering that next month's challenge is Trapeze and Aerial class, an inspiration of Melissa's. I don't have particularly good upper body strength, so I'm skeptical that I'll even be allowed to participate in the class...so maybe along with this mile running there should be a push-up challenge as well.
I just stepped away from the computer to try a push-up test. I did two and then collapsed. I think I can do ten today.