With most people in sedentary jobs the amount of daily exercise that people are taking is in decline. A huge negative to our health. A simple and effective form of exercise is walking. A brisk walk can give you the benefits of going for a jog without the high impact on our joints.
Walking can be a great calorie burner. Increasing the intensity of walking to a brisk power walk you can burn the same number of calories as going for a jog, which can help you lose weight and improve your overall fitness. You can increase the amount of walking that you do within your normal working day.
· Take the stairs instead of the lift
· Use a printer on the other side of the office so you have to walk further to collect your papers
· Go for a walk at lunchtime
· Get off the bus a stop earlier and walk the extra distance
You can make a few changes to improve your health without making it feel like a workout. Walking releases the same chemicals that you would from any other workout, serotonin and the release of endorphins means you get a feel good feeling at the end. That feeling should help keep you motivated to walk consistently as it can give a real boost of energy for the rest of your day.
Government guidelines recommend doing at least 30 minutes of exercise each day. This can be done in one session or split into 2 15 minute sessions. A good goal to set yourself is 10,000 steps every day. We would recommend that you get yourself a pedometer. “You can get many different types of pedometers, from an app that you can download on your phone to a dedicated piece of equipment such as a Fitbit. You may find that they are not 100% accurate but it will give you a good indication as to how active you are each day. See how many steps you do currently. Once you know that you can try and improve how many you take each week. As you can measure this it makes it easy to increase your steps, at first trying to reach the daily goal of 10,000 steps. Then try to improve the amount and intensity of the steps, such as going up stairs, climbing up hills or increasing your speed.”
As well as trying to increase the amount of walking you do each day try and do 1-2 longer walks each week. There are so many areas that are great for walking, we have country walks and urban paths to follow. If you are going on an untarmacked route then you may want to invest in some walking shoes. Uneven ground can put a greater strain through your foot and ankle, increasing the risk of injury, investing in some well supported walking boots is highly recommended before you start.
Take steps with a friend
Another way of making walking more fun and challenging is to find a friend to do it with. Arrange to go for walks together, this will make you more likely to do it, especially when the weather isn’t sunny. You may want to set yourselves a step challenge. Try to beat each other with how many steps you do each day. A little competition between friends can really help motivate you to do more every day.
So there you have it, an easy and effective way to improve your health that you can do every day. Dig out those walking shoes, get yourself a pedometer and get walking!