What if I told you there was ONE EASY thing you could do today (and every day) with just 15 minutes that would improve your health? Would you make time for it? Any guesses as to what it is?
I’ll give you some hints…
- You can do it alone or with friends
- It can be done indoors or outdoors
- You don’t need any equipment
- You can do it slowly or quickly
- No sweating (unless it’s really hot outside) or special clothes needed
- My Grandpa used to refer to it as “taking the number 11 bus”
Did the last clue help? ;)
Revolutionary, right? LOL
But in all seriousness, there are so many benefits to walking and even 15 minutes can make a difference to your health. Even more so if you can do it outside in the fresh air and (hopefully) sunshine.
Some Benefits of Walking:
• Reduces stress
• It’s good for your brain (improves cognitive control and memory)
• Boosts creativity (when walking without looking at your smartphone)
• Improves glycemic control, triglyceride levels and lowers blood pressure, especially after meals
• It boosts immune function
• It gives you a chance to think (aka, clear out some of the brain clutter)
Ok, so hopefully that helps convince you that walking is good for the mind and body, now you actually need to do it, if you aren’t already.
Suggestions for Adding 15 Minutes of Walking to Your Day:
(Note: 15 minutes is a minimum to make it less overwhelming if walking isn’t part of your life yet. You can’t go wrong with longer)
• Add 15 minutes of walking to your morning commute – whether that means parking 15 minutes away from the office or getting off the bus 15 minutes away
• Find a walking buddy and go on a walk during your lunch break (or go alone if you need a people break)
• Take the stairs at work and take a few minutes every couple hours to walk a floor or two
• Add 15 minutes of walking to your evening commute – bonus points if you also added 15 minutes in the morning, you just did 30 minutes!
• Incorporate walking with work – having a walking meeting with a boss or colleague, return phone calls while walking, respond to emails while walking (Note: this suggestion is a good bonus one or if you absolutely can’t get any other walking in since you won’t get the reduced stress and chance to think benefits)
• Go on an evening walk with your partner or a friend – explore your neighborhood by taking new routes each time
• Make it a game/challenge for yourself by using a smartphone app step counter or a fitness tracker – you can even find friends on the apps and “play” against them
• If it’s too cold to walk outside, go to a nearby mall and walk indoors…just leave the wallet at home or at the office so you aren’t tempted to spend money!
Walking is a simple thing you can do, but it really does make a difference to your physical and mental health. I love that you don’t need any equipment and it’s easy to do at any time of the day.
What can you to do TODAY? Make a plan. Choose one (or more) of the above and schedule it in your calendar.
** Bonus challenge – walk WITHOUT looking at your smartphone. **
I don’t know about you, but I’m SUPER guilty of pulling out my smartphone as soon as I step out the door. Sometimes I use my walking as work time, but sometimes it’s just habit and I’m browsing facebook or instagram mindlessly.
When I do purposely stop myself (and yes, it’s a conscious, intentional choice) from being on my phone I find I feel more relaxed and the creative juices flow like crazy. I’m also more aware of my surroundings and take time to notice my environment and the beauty in it. My feelings of gratitude increase as well.
I want to hear from you! Tell me how you’ll be adding more walking to your day. Email me, post on my Facebook page, take a photo of you walking, post on Instagram or Twitter and tag @FitHealthy365 in it (use the hashtag #fithealthy365)
I’m a good troubleshooter, so if you’re finding a roadblock to getting some walking in, get in touch and I’ll give you a simple solution.
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