Take Action Challenge: Week 1

Climbing the stairs has always been a challenge for me. It’s sad to say, because it seems like a simple act — I’m just walking up, right? — but anyone who enters a lobby needing to ascend levels and immediately seeks the elevator understands this. I even overheard it the other day from a man… Read more »

Climbing the stairs has always been a challenge for me. It’s sad to say, because it seems like a simple act — I’m just walking up, right? — but anyone who enters a lobby needing to ascend levels and immediately seeks the elevator understands this. I even overheard it the other day from a man who told his partner, “Elevators were invented so we don’t have to take the stairs.” Yes, the modern marvel makes sense at times (I’m not going to be the sweaty chick in the business meeting who just scaled 14 floors), but it’s such an easy way to get your heart pumping that passing it up seems like a shame.

So I’ve been climbing the stairs for this week’s Take Action Challenge, which instructed us to build in two five-minute breaks each day. I had maybe five flights on Tuesday and you could’ve mistaken me for a two-packs-a-day smoker. Perhaps my lung capacity has diminished from the average woman’s 4.7 liters?

What I have found interesting, however, is the lack of activity I have in general during my day. I spend most of it reading or researching on the Web, both of which lend itself to sitting. When I do work in my home office, I’m making more an effort to get on our elliptical when I read. (I remember imagining the future with flying cars and robots like The Jetson’s, but the real future workplace should have stations set atop of treadmills, as proposed by researchers at the Mayo Clinic.)

In the past, I’ve felt guilty for leaving my desk to walk around, whether in the Minneapolis skyways during winter or around the block in summer. But if I can actually find myself refreshed, and thus more productive, I think that’s a solid reason for any supervisor who’d rather chain you down. And stepping out into the sunshine is a better energizer than a cup of coffee — I can sit back down at my desk with a sense of calm, ready to work again until my next break.

How did you do with this week’s challenge? What activities did you build into your day?

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