5 Ways My Under Desk Treadmill Has Improved My Life
Category: Work, Life
If you follow me on social media you know I've been walking at work for a few weeks now. I realize it may be annoying to continually update my co-workers on how many steps I've gotten in so far day to day, but my mood and focus has changed so dramatically since I started walking that I knew my first Work-Life Balance blog post after my introduction had to be about my magical under desk treadmill.
First, let's get some of the basic Q+A out the way, and then we'll jump into the incredible benefits I'm seeing after only 6 weeks of walking.
Q: Why did you start walking at work?
A: I found out about people using under the desk treadmills via a happy accident - a random TikTok video that came up on my feed. The woman I watched had made some incredible gains (weight management, healthier blood tests/overall health, improved cognitive function) in the year she started walking that I immediately hopped on the bandwagon because I too am interested in an "always-on" approach to health and wellness. I'd been feeling the effects (guilt, weight gain, etc) from sitting like a sloth in my desk chair for 2 years straight during COVID and felt the need to make a big lifestyle change.
Q: What treadmill do you use?
A: I have this one for my Love Wellness office, and then a slightly more affordable version for when I work from home. Is there a major difference? Not at all. I suppose I got one that's a bit more affordable for my house because I WFH 2 days a week, and am in the office 3 days a week.
I have a standing desk at the office, and at home use this handy riser on my counter-top that makes the proportions of walkin'+workin' all work.
Other must-haves for treadmill life include a fitness tracker to count your steps like a Fitbit that's worn around the ankle versus the wrist so that your steps are properly counted. If you wear it on your wrist it won't be accurate/will just track how you type.
Get some great shoes too. My brother is a long-distance trail runner and he recommends the Hoka brand. I got a pair for home and a pair I leave at the office.
Q: How far are you walking everyday?
A: If I have 3-4 hours worth of dedicated time at my desk when I'm not on calls or in meetings I can average about 17,000-19,000 steps during that time period. It's 7 to 8 miles per my tracker. Your height definitely makes a difference in steps to miles by the way. I'm 5'5 and my stride is average I'd say based on my height. I have taller friends that can do almost double the miles with the same amount of steps. I live in New York City and also walk to and from work, so my daily average is about 24,000 steps (I'm guessing about 10 miles).
Q: How many calories is that?!?
A: You burn anywhere from 65 to 100 calories per mile based on weight (if you weigh less you burn less). I'm guessing I'm burning around 500-700 extra calories a day with my treadmill steps. FYI, the Fitbit starts your calorie counter at 600ish calories daily, so I never trust that reading on this device at the end of the day.
Q: Any supplement recommendations that support the under desk treadmill lifestyle?
Yes, absolutely. I'd recommend our full-spectrum multivitamin Daily Love for all the nutrients you'll need to keep those little feet moving. Additionally, Gut Feelings Probiotics can help support the gut-brain axis for the mood boost you'll get from the extra miles as well.
OK, basics are out of the way. Now let's move on to the top 5 benefits I'm experiencing daily since I've incorporated the under desk treadmill into my 9 to 5.
Benefit 1: Improved Mood
The other day I was driving in the car and started spontaneously dancing solo to the song I was listening too. Normally I'm just a sing-a-long kind of gal, but suddenly I was feeling so great my hands started tapping the steering wheel and my shoulders got into the groove too. This may not sound that weird, but for me, I've been in a state of constant semi-depression for ... years? It's definitely comes and goes, and a clean diet and movement always helps. But I was reminded very suddenly during this experience just how much my mood is tied to movement. Walking is easy, low-impact movement too. No crazy cardio necessary. Some studies show that if you are too stressed out, intense exercise causes cortisol spikes leaving you to feel even worse. So my first major benefit is improved mood that is so noticeable even my friends have commented on my energy shift. Pretty cool.
Benefit 2: Improved Cognitive Function
As someone who suffered from a very inconvenient and painful TBI in 2019, the clarity and focus I've been able to manifest from walking the past few weeks has been remarkable. I'm walking as I write this post right now and the idea for creating this blog hit me while walking a few weeks ago. I've been able to get back to a place where creativity, passion, and purpose flow freely versus the feeling of being trapped or stuck in a slow-moving mind. My productivity has increased dramatically, especially at a time when my team needs me more than ever.
Benefit 3: Easier Weight Management
I won't lie. I'm not walking on my treadmill most days just because it puts me in a nice mood. I'm absolutely doing it for the weight management benefits as well. Like most women in our mid-thirties I've had experience with a fertility treatment of some kind or another, and anyone who has gone down that road knows how tough that can be on the body. The excess hormones we put into the body for different treatments seem to turn to instant pounds, and ones that are much trickier to get off than normal weight gain. I'd estimate I'm about 10 pounds off from where I'd like to be currently (and where I was before 2 rounds of egg freezing). Combine that with the slothiness of Covid WFH and you find yourself in a situation that's not ideal.
After 6 weeks of walking I haven't noticed much of a difference on the scale, but my clothes are looser and I'm certainly shrinking all over. My legs have more definition and my Fitbit needs a tighter setting on my ankle. Pretty cool!
Benefit 4: Improved Cardiovascular Function
Did you know heart disease is the #1 killer of women? I'd like to avoid that story myself, and even though I can't see all the benefits of getting in major mileage week to week I know that if I keep this up for a year my labs are gonna look goooood. Walking has been proven time and time again to improve health and longevity. I like to think of walking and exercise in general as a gift I'm giving to my body. Nobody can take all these miles back from me. They're mine!
Benefit 5: Better Sleep and Food Cravings
If you're walking an extra 8 miles a day you will be tired when 10pm hits. I've been sleeping like a baby since I started walking, and falling asleep much more easily as well. My mind doesn't race as much as I'm settling down.
In addition, my body has been asking me for healthy fuel vs empty carbs since I started walking. Getting so much extra movement in definitely calls for more calories, but I've been surprised at how much I've been having good cravings instead of naughty ones.
Are you thinking about getting an under desk treadmill? I absolutely love mine and hope you join my walking club. You can watch some of my TikToks about my early days of walking here.
More to come,
Founder/CEO of Love Wellness
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