And we’re off! The Global Challenge started on 22nd May and the competition is on!

Launch day was filled with team building activities and a sports day that brought out the competitive side of everyone involved. It quickly became clear that I'd have to knuckle down and make sure I was getting in as many steps as possible to help Team Head Office on their way to victory.

Before taking part, I was already fairly active and hit 10,000 steps most days. For week 1, I set my personal target to 15,000 steps - here’s how I got on.

Day 1 - Wednesday

Even after the activities of Sports Day, I still hadn’t quite reached 10,000 steps. I went straight to the gym after work for a body combat class. When I got home, rather than drive to the supermarket I decided to walk - and I took the (really, really) long way round.

Total Steps: 25,244

Day 2 - Thursday

I feel like I set the bar pretty high on day 1 and the pressure’s on from my team to smash it again - so I set the alarm for 5.15am and head to the gym before work. Half an hour of cardio and half an hour boxing later and I’m at 10,000 steps by the time I get to the office.

During the day I take every opportunity to add a few more steps. At lunch I meet some of my team members and we take advantage of the sunshine to go for a brisk walk to the park and back. After work I meet my sister and her dog and we go for a nice long hike around the country park.

Total Steps: 26,675

Day 3 - Friday

It’s only day 3 and I’m feeling very tired! I didn’t mean to do quite so many steps during the first 2 days but my competitive streak is in full swing and I’m not ready to slow down (even if my legs disagree). I set the early alarm again and hit the gym before work. I’m not on my own today so I’ve got Nicola Cottrell (head of CRM) cheering me on. We warm up, each do a set of boxing and then set up a circuit of weights and cardio intervals. Once again, I’m on 10,000 steps by the time I sit down at my desk for the day.

I walk for 45 minutes at lunch to bump up the total a little more and force myself out for another walk when I get home after work.

Total Steps: 28,615

Day 4 - Saturday

Saturday morning always starts with body combat at the gym - which gets me to around 7,000 steps. Instead of heading home, I pick up my sister’s dog, Willow and take her out for a long walk. By the time I drop her off home it’s hard to tell which one of us is more tired! In the afternoon, instead of driving into town to browse around the shops I put my trainers back on and walk.

Total Steps: 26,043

Day 5 - Sunday

I head into Liverpool as it’s the day of the Rock & Roll marathon…which I’m not running! One of my friends is running though, so while he tackles 26 miles I get my steps in walking around the city with another friend. There are bands playing near the finish line and I get extra steps from a little dance as we wait. We head back to Manchester and go out for tea - we walk to the restaurant which bumps up my steps but for the first time since the challenge started I fail when it comes to healthy eating. Pizza.

Total Steps: 20,145

Day 6 - Monday

It’s Bank Holiday so the gym isn’t open early enough for me to work off that pizza before I get into the office. It closes at 6pm too so I think it’s going to be the most difficult day yet to get as many steps as I’d like. I’m in the office all day so I make sure I’ve got my trainers to go for a walk at lunch (in the rain). By 2pm I’ve managed to hit 8,000 steps which is better than I expected! I rush to the gym straight after work and I stay right up until the staff are vacuuming around me and ushering me out the door! By the time I get home I’m still not happy with my step count so I grab my hoodie and my headphones and head out walking for an hour and a half.

Total Steps: 25,319

Day 7 - Tuesday

I get up and hit the gym before work. A mixture of cardio, boxing and some circuits means I rack up 10,000 steps by the time I’m at my desk. I make sure I get in a quick walk at lunchtime too, as I’ve found this to be a great way to bump up my step count. I planned ahead in the morning and downloaded an episode of a TV show - after work I go back to the gym and catch up on the episode while I walk on the treadmill.

Total Steps: 23,016

And that’s it! The first week of the Global Challenge complete. I’ve managed to take a total of 175,057 steps in 7 days - a huge increase on my usual average which is between 80,000 and 100,000 a week. It may seem like I’ve done a lot of exercise but all I’ve really added is walks at lunchtime and an evening walk most days. Team Head Office have been really supportive and helped to keep me motivated when I felt like I was starting to feel tired. I’m looking forward to seeing how the next few weeks play out.