A jour­ney be­gins with 10,000 steps


‘‘Just as an ex­per­i­ment I clipped it to the dog's col­lar - it worked.’’

They signed me up while I was away, my back was turned. I was work­ing in the Kapiti news­room when a Porirua work­mate mes­saged to tell me I’d been signed up to some­thing that sounded sus­pi­ciously like ex­er­cise.

We needed four to a team, she said, and as there’s ex­actly four peo­ple in our news­room I couldn’t wrig­gle out of it.

‘‘Also you get free stuff.’’ I was in.

Steptem­ber is a pro­gramme where you take 10,000 steps a day (In Septem­ber. Get it?) and is de­signed to raise funds for peo­ple with Cere­bral Palsy and get of­fice work­ers like yours truly in­creas­ing their ac­tiv­ity.

There’s no doubt my fit­ness has suf­fered since I be­came a news hack, pre­vi­ously work­ing on a farm, my daily ac­tiv­ity had ebbed away to vir­tu­ally noth­ing.

A diet of cof­fee (black, no sugar), Jeanette’s morn­ing teas (our news­room is well known for these) and my beloved carbs has landed me in less than ideal shape.

This 10,000 steps a day lark could be a good thing, I fig­ured.

The free stuff promised turned out to be a pe­dome­ter, a tiny black box that counted my steps.

Just as an ex­per­i­ment I clipped it to the dog’s col­lar - it worked.

I did an ex­per­i­ment be­fore Septem­ber came around, I wore it for a whole day and was hor­ri­fied to see I had only done 3500 steps - I was in big trou­ble.

The next day, a 25-minute walk and a cou­ple of wad­dles to the shop saw me clock­ing 7500.

The next day I hit the fa­bled 10k and it re­ally wasn’t that hard.

So is 10,000 steps go­ing to im­prove my fit­ness?

Ac­cord­ing to Clay Mosen, who owns The Achieve­ment Room gym in Waikanae, any ex­er­cise is good but we should be striv­ing for more than the magic 10k.

‘‘It should be we’re do­ing 10,000 steps a day and do­ing ex­er­cise on top of that.’’

Fool­ishly, I tell him I drive past his gym ev­ery­day and be­fore I know it I’m booked in for an early morn­ing fit­ness as­sess­ment next week.

This was not part of my plan. I’m ex­hausted al­ready.

NEXT WEEK: The fit­ness as­sess­ment, a walk with Porirua’s act­ing mayor and in­ter-news­room ri­valry.

Check out Steptem­ber here : www.steptem­ber.org.nz

CAN­DI­DATE QUITS: The New Zealand First party’s Mana can­di­date, Ran­dall Ratana, has with­drawn from the race. ‘‘The cam­paign was re­ally af­fect­ing my stud­ies. I thought I could do both but that wasn’t the case,’’ he said.

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