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Helping a Charity and Getting Fit – One Step at a Time…

Published on: 4 Jun, 2013
Updated on: 4 Jun, 2013

Dani Maimone’s 10,000 steps a day for health and charity.

Dani Maimone with her pedometer just 6,000 steps for the day to go

Dani Maimone with her pedometer – just 5,018 steps for the day to go – Photo Dani Maimone

I have faced many varied challenges in my life but this is quite different and one I have chosen to take on myself.

I have elected to take part in the Surrey Chambers of Commerce initiative, a concept by Activity4Charity, taking 10,000 steps a day for the next six weeks to raise money for a worthy cause, the Brigitte Trust, and to lose weight and get fitter.

The Brigitte Trust is an amazing charity that supports individuals and families where a life threatening diagnosis has been made. They rely on donations and fundraising to help train volunteers to undergo this valuable work. They operate throughout Surrey, including the Guildford area.

There are six of us taking steps for the Trust including Ella Parkes from Surrey Chambers; Vanessa Smith PR for the Trust,  Jen Mason, Sally Elias and Claire Whitbourne.

I will write a weekly blog about the challenge, pounds lost and total steps for the week. I know that this challenge will make us all think hard about how much we use our cars when we could actually walk instead. I am already focusing on my lack of exercise, what I need to do to change that, what I eat and drink and my unhealthy lifestyle.

Three members of my close family died aged 45, two from heart attacks. I am 53, overweight and probably eat too much cake but at least I don’t smoke.

In my role as a freelance writer, photographer and PR consultant I spend far too much time sitting down in front of a computer. Don’t many of us today? Come on hands up, you know it’s true!

A fairly sedentary life style combined with being ermm… a certain age, well I have to blame something on the menopause, has meant somehow, rather mysteriously, the weight has crept on. In fact, I am another nine pounds heavier than I thought I was. There’s a confession for you.

I exercise less and stress out more than I ever did when I was younger, all of which is incredibly unhealthy and probably a recipe for some kind of heart problem.

Raising money for charity whilst getting fit and exercising seemed to me to be a real incentive for a life style change. Early days however. As I write, I am at the halfway post for day one and it’s already tea -time, eek! The challenge decrees that one wears a pedometer around your neck at all times (not in the shower, obviously) to calculate your steps and upload the information each day to the Activity4Charity database.

There’s no room for cheating. Health points are awarded for the number of steps you complete each day, providing it’s in the thousands. I am already obsessed about how many steps I am taking and working out what I can do to increase the number. Run up and down stairs; take the dog for a long walk, etc.

It certainly focuses the mind on activity rather than taking the car to the local shops I walked, 800 steps. I parked further away from town and walked in, another 500 steps. Part of the problem is the time factor. I drive everywhere because I need to get to meetings fast and there’s no time for walking.

I will have to get up earlier to cram everything in to my day and allow time for walking, 0630 might work. Time to change. Time to reflect. Time to get off my butt and walk as much as possible. It’s free and you can take in your surroundings in the process.

Thankfully the sun is out, summer is on its way and in the words of the old song by Helen Shapiro, ‘I’m walking back to happiness.’ After I have cooked supper for the family, fed the dog, edited the photo shoot and radio interviews for this week, written three articles on deadline for tomorrow…. Forget it, I’m going for a long walk around Stoke Park. Coming anyone?

To find out more about the Brigitte Trust charity, check out the website at:

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