Just four days left until the NAILS 10k-a-Day Walking Challenge begins! On January 1, nail techs everywhere will lace up their sneakers and take to the sidewalk (or trail, or mall, or wherever) to jump-start a healthy new year. Most of us here at NAILS are also taking on the challenge. I hope you’ll join us.
You may wonder why we decided to offer a fitness challenge this year. It all started back in January of this year when I started doing research and interviewing experts for a feature called "Stay Fit While You Sit.” While writing this story, I learned some pretty disturbing things about what happens to our bodies when we have sedentary jobs — jobs that require us to sit down most or all of the day (like nail tech and magazine editor). You can read the story yourself (in fact, it’s great motivation for taking on the challenge), but to make a long story short, we are literally sitting ourselves to death. In a number of recent studies, prolonged sitting was found to be the culprit in risks for cancer, heart disease, obesity, Type 2 diabetes, hypertension, muscular problems, depression, and overall mortality rate.
But the good news is there’s a solution: Move! It’s a good idea to stand up every hour and move for five or 10 minutes. And to compensate further for all that sitting, we can add walking to burn calories. The general consensus among health experts is that we should all be aiming for 10,000 steps a day, and that’s how we came up with the 10k-a-Day Walking Challenge. Walking is a beautiful thing for so many reasons: It’s free, it gets us outdoors, it gives us a break from work so we can come back to it refreshed, and it’s simple. No special equipment is needed except a good pair of shoes and a pedometer if you want to track your steps; basic pedometers can be had for less than $5.
The most important reason we decided to offer this challenge is because we care about you, our readers. We’ve heard so many of your personal stories about life both inside and outside the salon — your health challenges, your successes, your hopes and dreams. We want you to live your healthiest life possible, and we want to do it right along with you.
Here’s how it works: Every day for the month of January, aim to log at least 10,000 steps. Use a pedometer and keep track of how you do. If you don’t hit 10k steps every time, don’t throw in the towel! There will be days when you just can’t get away from the chair, days you have cramps, days you overdid it the night before, etc. The point is to shoot for consistency in order to establish an exercise habit, and 10,000 steps is the mark you are aiming for. Check NAILS social media every week for Motivation Monday tips to help boost your progress. At the end of the challenge, send us an email and tell us how you did. Include before and after photos if you like (we love photos!). How did the challenge feel? What was the best part about it? The hardest? What did you accomplish? Did it inspire you to continue a healthy lifestyle? And be sure to post your photos on social media (#NAILS10kaDay) throughout the month. In our April 2016 issue, we’ll feature all your results, stories, and photos to celebrate your success. It’s that simple.
Ready? Set. Go!