Today I want to talk to you about something so simple that I almost didn’t blog about it. But the fact is, we don’t do enough of it. And, not only is its the easiest thing to change, its also one of the most influencing factors on our health.
You need to walk more. It doesn’t matter what level of fitness you have, walking has so many health benefits. Its what we as humans are built to do. Our body is expecting us to walk and as we increasingly living sedentary lives (think desk job, travelling time in a car/bus, relaxing on the couch, coffee with friends, studing etc) we are really pushing our bodies to the limits.
The benefits of walking
- Improved blood sugar level (diabetics need to take this seriously)
- Improved digestion & bowel habits
- Healthy, toned spine and associated muscles which decreases back pain
- Mental clarity & improved cognitive function
- Improved blood triglycerides and blood pressure
- Natural stress relief
- Boosts your immune system
How to incorporate more walking into your life
- Walk to and from work. Too far? Park your car a block away or get off the bus at the stop before your’s.
- Catch up with friends by going for a walk together instead of your normal coffee date
- ALWAYS take the stairs, not the elevator.
- Go exploring. If you walk to same path everyday, you will get bored. Go on an adventure, explore, discover, see new things. And don’t underestimate how pleasant it can be to just explore the neighbourhood you live in!
- Walk to the letterbox instead of stopping the car to grab the mail as you drive past.
- When your on holidays, take advantage of the free city walking tours.
- Park your car on the opposite side of the shopping centre to where you want to go.
- If you want to destress, don’t take your regular seat on the couch. Go for a walk in nature. Its proven to reduce stress and trust me – it works! Head to the local park, field, beach, pond or river.
- Walk an extra lap of the fruit and veg section when doing your groceries.
- Play with your children instead of just watching them.
- If your desk bound (like me) consider a standing desk. I’ve been using one for 3 months now and I LOVE IT. It makes me move more because its easy to grab things and not so much effort to get up and down (sounds lazy I know, but lets be honest, how often do you ‘scoot’ over to the printer?) Also, set a reminder on your computer to go off every hour and then get up and walk! Go get some water or go to the toilet the long way around the office.
Most importantly, I need you to understand that its the daily movement thats important. You can’t sit all week and expect that a 3 hour walk on the weekend will make up for it. I’m sorry, but it doesn’t work like that. Whats important is that you add small amounts of movement into each and every day.
Do you have any great ideas to increase your daily walking? I’d love to know about them.