Walking Towards Better Fitness

Everybody knows that exercise improves our overall health, but that doesn’t necessarily mean we all need to become gym bros. There’s nothing wrong with focusing that hard on your physical health at a gym, but realistically not everybody has the time, energy or financial commitment for that lifestyle. Walking is an easy and free way to fit being healthy into your everyday routine.

Yes, walking has positive benefits to your physical health – but in what way? Walking can help with strengthening your muscles, improving your endurance for other types of physical activity, and reducing body fat. It also helps with increasing your energy levels and your cardiovascular health. Mentally, being outside and exposed to Vitamin D, as well as exercise, helps with your mood management, and if you walk with friends there are mental health benefits of spending time with loved ones as well.

So we all agree that walking is a great thing, but how can we fit it in our already jam packed schedules? Here are a few ways to sneak walking into your schedule:

Take the stairs instead of the elevator at work. If you work in an actual office that has an elevator, start using the stairs instead. If going up them is too much, start with taking the stairs down and work your way up. If your office is on a double digit floor, start by getting off the elevator two floors down and finishing the rest on the stairs – and working your way up from there. This will eventually become a habit that you don’t have to think about 

If you work from home, set up your workspace furthest from where you take breaks. This forces you to go a little bit further when you need to grab water, coffee, or a snack during the work day. This is great both to keep your body moving, but also to give your brain a break by walking away from your computer for a few minutes.

Hang up each article of clothing separately when doing laundry. When I do laundry I dump the entire load on my bed, and will then individually walk every item of hung up clothing to the closet as I put it away. It helps to stay active, as well as alert, while putting away laundry.

Walk around your couch during commercial breaks. A top way to unwind and relax at the end of the day is to put on a TV show and sink into our couches. Granted many of us have streaming services without commercials – but if you do still have cable or the cheaper versions of certain streaming services (no shade here – they add up quick and a girl’s gotta save money somehow!), then do loops around your couch or your house while the commercials play.

Walk around the house when you’re on the phone. Some people are natural pacers and will do this automatically, but if you aren’t it only takes 21 days to set this into a habit. Anytime you make or take a call, stand up and start walking around your house. Take conference calls while walking around the neighborhood. Go up and down the stairs if the call is unpleasant to get out some nervous energy. Whatever works for you, it’ll surely rack up the steps quickly.

Set up walking meetings instead of in conference rooms if possible. If you have a walking trail near your work, or even sidewalks, start setting up 2 person touch base meetings that don’t involve equipment as walking meetings. This can help with the mood of the meeting as well, since getting sunshine during the day is always a happy occurrence. 

The final tip to increase your walking is to start a step challenge of some sort with friends. Whether a challenge on your Apple Watch, Fitbit, or other exercise tracker – or even a basic pedometer and a text group chat. This extra motivation, especially if you’re competitive, or there is a prize to be won at the end of the challenge, will keep you moving when you’re feeling stuck.


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