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Mar 4, 2024

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A Step in the Right Direction – Singapore National Steps Challenge

Team Members step up to achieve better health through the National Steps Challenge.

Keeping fit or being active can be daunting, especially when we live in such a fast paced society, with work, family and other commitments taking up much of our time. However, studies have shown that even small increments of physical activity can lead to significant health improvements. According to the Health Promotion Board, for a sedentary adult, walking the recommended 7,500 to 10,000 steps daily can help lower high blood pressure and blood cholesterol levels, and improve glucose control .

To nudge Singaporeans to walk more, the Health Promotion Board introduced the National Steps Challenge in 2015 to encourage people to lead a more active lifestyle by taking more steps, and rewarding them with vouchers for hitting their daily target.

During a recent health survey and screening conducted by the Club for its Team Members, results showed that many Team Members suffered from high cholesterol and high blood pressure. In response to this, Team Wellness was formed with the aim of enhancing the health and well-being of Team Members and to build camaraderie through initiatives such as fitness activities, health talks and screening, and mental wellness programs.

One such fitness activity that Team Wellness has signed the Club up for is the National Steps Corporate Challenge that sees organizations nationwide and inter-company compete against each other based on the highest daily average step count.

At the end of the 15-week steps challenge, the Club placed 13th in the industry ranking and 60th in the national ranking.

Walking to Good Health

From our Management team, Senior Director of Finance, Angie, leaves the house at 5:00 a.m every morning. for her morning brisk walk. She straps on her steps tracker to clock the number of steps she will take. On weekday mornings alone, she hits 11,000 to 12,000 steps easily as she walks and jogs around the vicinity of her home. During lunch time, she makes an effort to get out of the office to clock in more steps. At the end of the day, Angie would have clocked in an average of 20,000 steps, equivalent to walking nearly 15km!

A nature lover, Angie unwinds with her family on the weekend by venturing to the various parks and nature reserves around Singapore such as Thomson Nature Reserve, Bedok Reservoir, East Coast Park and Bukit Timah Nature Reserve. She also gets out of the house to do the occasional weekend grocery shopping in order to break away from lounging at home all day.

Angie is no stranger to the world of exercise. She started exercising daily since she was diagnosed with diabetes in 1999. Initially, she would do more high impact exercises such as running and cardio activities, but as age caught up with her, she turned to less strenuous forms of exercise such as brisk walking and jogging.

“Brisk walking is an easy, convenient and effective way of keeping my blood sugar down. It also helps me maintain a healthy lifestyle so that I can have the occasional indulgence as I love food,” said Angie.

“Since I am already walking so much everyday, why not earn myself some vouchers while doing so?” Angie on why she decided to take part in the National Steps Corporate Challenge. Angie has consistently been the Club’s Top 5 “steppers” week on week since the steps challenge started in January, and has no plans on stepping down from the top.

Wonders of Brisk Walking

Rodel, Lifeguard and Swim Coach from the Aquatics team said his motivation for joining the National Steps Corporate Challenge was driven by health reasons and his desire to live a long life. “Although I have been doing different forms of exercise throughout the years, I like the idea of constantly moving and exploring beautiful sceneries – so I decided to join the National Steps Corporate Challenge,” he explained.

Three months on, Rodel is the Club’s top stepper week on week, clocking in an average of 30,000 steps a day. Rodel shares, “When I first found out about this challenge, I shared it with my friends and encouraged them to join me so that we can go brisk walking and jogging together.”

Rodel’s go-to brisk walking spots are the Botanic Gardens, Marina Bay Sands and MacRitchie Resevoir where he frequents twice a week. As part of his daily routine, he also chooses to take the stairs instead of the lift at the Club, and walks to the nearby malls during his breaks.

Apart from keeping fit, another benefit that he reaped was weight loss – he had shed close to 4kg since embarking on the steps challenge. He also shared that brisk walking has helped him relieve stress and get better sleep at night.

For those who are still unsure about stepping up to the challenge to reap the health benefits, Rodel ’s advice is to “start slow, do what you can and work your way up. When you start, it’s actually much easier than you’d think – the more you walk, the less lethargic you feel .”

Visit our Summer magazine 2022 to read more articles!

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