Our Go the Extra Mile challenge changed more than just Rosie Green’s thighs.
You’d think that the mode of transport with the highest feel-good rating would be an eye-wateringly expensive car with plush seats, the perfect ambient temperature and an aesthetically pleasing driver. Or a first-class seat on an airplane with a flight assistant call button to hand. Well, against the odds I’d always go for a much more humble option: walking. (Admittedly my experience of the first two is somewhat, okay very, limited).
I’ve always loved walking, but had become a lapsed perambulator until FitFlop challenged me to Go the Extra Mile.
At first it was an effort, in the same way things that are good for you often are. A croissant is easier than porridge. A scroll through Instagram easier than reading a book. The rom-com easier than the Oscar winner*. But once I made the effort the gains piled in like footballers on the goal scorer.
It was a simple switch that gained me 2000 steps/the extra mile. My daughter’s school is half a mile from our house, so I just swore off the car for the school run. Best decision ever. Walking meant extra minutes squeezing my daughter’s hand, and enjoying a relaxed chat that felt more open. During the walk back home to my desk I used the brain space (my phone deliberately left on the kitchen island) to think creatively and strategically rather than fretting about the detail.
I also allowed myself a side order of eco smugness. According to the charity Sustrans, if we all swapped one weekly drive for walking, traffic would reduce by at least 10%. And with it, pollution. Within a week I was feeling joyous, both because of my new status as an eco-warrior and because I am definitely more toned of thigh. And have saved approximately 18p of petrol as well as the planet.
I also like that there is minimal psyching up you need to do pre-walk. And no special outfit (save for a pair of comfortable shoes). I like that when you walk you can see the changing of the seasons, feel the wind and sun, and smell the grass.
Walking has made me more productive, calmer, fitter, and yes, happier.
*Still prefer a rom-com though.