Setting Your Wellness Challenge

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200,000 Heart Beats – Way easier than you think!

By Rob Rutledge

When I tell people about my Wellness Challenge (200,000 Heart Beats) they seem really impressed – like it’s going to take some type of supra-human effort and supreme discipline to work out 50 times this winter, beating my heart once during exercise for each person diagnosed with cancer in Canada this year.

The reality is that literally anyone could do this Challenge. From professional athlete to never have exercised in your life – your heart is going to beat for you.  It’s way easier than you think. Let’s take an extreme example of someone who was totally out of shape to show it’s possible for all of us.  Geoff Eaton, the founder and director of Young Adult Cancer Canada, describes waking up from being in a coma for over 3 weeks.  The muscles in his body had melted away, so he could hardly give his friends a high-five – and his mother had to brush his teeth. At age 23, Geoff had undergone a bone-marrow transplant and had nearly died of a infection as a complication of this super high dose chemo. He resolved to slowly build himself up by doing just a bit more exercise each day, starting with modified sit-ups (going from 45 degrees incline to sitting up straight). After 3 weeks of ‘training’ he was able to take his first 5-step ‘walk’ from his bed to sofa. Geoff would have been well on his way to 200,000 heart beats.

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