Walking is the easiest form of exercise and is something most people can do, regardless of their level of fitness. Increasing the amount of daily walking to 30 or more minutes has significant health benefits like lowering blood sugar levels, decreasing waist circumference, improving mood and lowering blood pressure.
We know it’s good for us so let’s talk about how to incorporate it into our days. Using an activity tracker (available for a nice discount on NSite/Employee Services/Employee Discount Service) or an app on your phone, set aside a day or two to establish a baseline to see how many steps you typically cover in a day. Everyone is different so if your baseline is 2000 steps, trying to shoot for 7500 steps tomorrow may feel daunting and could possibly lead to injury. Set reasonable goals and progress slowly to your ultimate target of 7500 minimum daily steps. If you are already achieving at least 7500 steps daily, think of what level you would like to reach and start increasing your steps by 10 to 20% each day to reach a higher goal.
Here are some ideas to increase your daily steps:
- Park your car far from the entrance of work or the store
- After loading your groceries in the car, walk your cart all the way back into the store instead of parking it in the corral
- Schedule a “walking meeting” with an associate and take a clipboard or small notebook to take notes if needed
- Walk to your coworker’s desk to ask a question instead of sending an email
- Pick the restroom or water fountain that is farthest from your work station
- Enjoy a pre- or post-dinner walk around the neighborhood
- Put on your favorite tunes and shake your groovy to the beat of the music
- Walk along while the kids ride their bikes or walk around the field while they play their sport
- Meet someone for a coffee/drink date and take it for a walk
- Volunteer at a local animal shelter/veterinarian/doggy day care and walk dogs for them if you don’t have your own dog to walk
- If you ride the bus, get off a stop early or get on a stop later
- Walk around the house during commercials if you watch television
Looking for a change of scenery? Explore the many parks and trails Louisville has to offer. Maybe pick one from this list to visit each weekend. Get creative, break any sedentary habits and enjoy the health benefits of walking each day.