We’re becoming less active, which increases our risk of heart disease, stroke and other diseases. Take the first step to a healthier life by taking part in American Heart Association’s National Walking Day.
Regular physical activity is vital for maintaining a healthy weight, improving sleep and your mood, reducing blood pressure, and lowering the risk of heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. Exercise will help you feel more energized to do what you love. While it is National Walking Day, try doing any kind of physical activity that gets you moving!
12 easy steps to get more active daily
- Walk to Work. If you are within a reasonable distance, then skip the car and the headache that comes from driving in traffic, and dealing with parking, and walk to work. (Added bonus: you help the environment and get sculpted calves!)
- Take a Walking Lunch. During your lunch break, throw on some tennis shoes and take a walk. Ali C. in our office can be seen on any number of days using her lunch to get a breath of fresh air outside. She throws on a pair of jeans or joggers and her tennis shoes, planning ahead and packing what she needs to make it happen.
“Taking a mid-day break has been extremely beneficial to my productivity throughout the work day. It really helps clear my mind as well as gives me a ‘reset’ button for the afternoon. I definitely look forward to my lunch walks and sometimes feel a little “lost” if I don’t get one in!” Says Ali.
- Stairs. That’s it, one word. You already know this but just avoiding the elevators and escalators easily incorporates more activity, calory burning, and energizing movement into your day.
- Grab the mail or offer coffee to a coworker. Get up and move, walk around the office every hour or so. Some smart fitness wristbands alert you when you’re idle for an hour. Check out the Jawbone UP3 for around $100.
- Walk the dog or take a family walk. In the morning or afternoon, take a 30-minute walk around your neighborhood. Bring the dog or get the whole family involved. This might prove to be the only time you get extended sunlight if you work 9am-5pm in an office!
- Use music for inspiration. Listen to music or a podcast while you go for that stroll. Walk to the beat and move on from frustration!
- Compete with yourself or friends. Track the distance before you take a walk with a Jawbone, your iphone, or get a step counter and set a daily step goal. Challenge your friends on a step-off.
- Initiate a regular walking partnership. Get a walking buddy and keep each other accountable daily or on weekdays. Maybe it’s a friend who lives close by but you hardly see each other, what better way to catch on regularly while meeting fitness goals.
- Do housework – clean or garden. You’d be surprised how many steps you take while running arround the house to tidy up. Combine with step 6. and pump up the jams while you clean for some motivation.
- Have a dance party. Turn on some music and have an impromptu dance session. Combine with step 9 and bring your feather duster!
- Do a fun run. Register and train for a charity run or walk. Improve your health and raise money for a great cause! Here are four great runs.
- Go for a walking meeting. Instead of those plain sit-down conferences, get away from the office with your colleagues, take a walk during your next meeting and get those ideas flowing. Watch this great TED talk on the health consequences of sitting all day, and what you can do to make a change.
The simplest and easiest way to improve your health starts with that next step, so get walking. How will you start to incorporate walking into your daily routine? Comment below and share with friends. Get everyone involved in this fun and active day!