It all adds up…
It’s no secret we are less active now than we ever have been. The creation of the automobile and the transition from the industrial age to the information age has us chained to our cars and our desks.
Statistics show our rate of walking has dropped by 42 percent over the past 20 years!! Is it any coincidence that the number of overweight Americans has increased nearly the same percentage in that amount of time as well?
The health benefits of even moderate walking (20-30 minutes a day) are prolific and unarguable. Those who are already active but have a few extra pounds hanging on may find additional, effortless walking to be the kickstart to moving the scale downward. Yes – it can be that easy!
You may be looking at me and asking, “How on earth can I fit in an extra 30 minutes a day when I have X, Y, and Z already booked in my day? How am I expected to find the time?” The marvelous thing is that it can be done little by little, throughout the day, with only minimal planning. Here are some ideas:
- If you commute to work using public transportation, get off one or two stops early and walk the rest of the way.
- Park on the furthest end of the parking lot. This also helps prevent those nasty door dings from careless drivers.
- Walk to a lunch spot outside the office to enjoy your meal.
- Incorporate a brief 10 minute walk after dinner to facilitate digestion, bond with family members, or reflect on the events of the day.
- Commit to a daily 10 minute walk break during the work week to clear your mind, reduce work stress, and stay refreshed in the afternoon before the commute home.
- If you have children in after-school sports, use some of the time they are in practice to get walk on an unused track or around the field and surrounding neighborhoods.
- Keep your walking shoes in the car at all times! They will eliminate excuses and remind you to “Think Active”!
Incorporating fitness into your lifestyle takes conscious effort, but the payoff is often larger than you imagine. A little fresh air is good for the mind as well as the body, and may be one of the only times in the day you get to pause for a moment and catch your breath. Seize the moment, and relish the results!