If you’re looking to be more physically active this year, but don’t know where to start this one is for you. Adding physical activity into your day doesn’t have to break the bank, it doesn’t have to be time-consuming, and it doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Walking provides health benefits, such as cardiovascular fitness, reduced likelihood of type 2 diabetes, and reduced risk of osteoporosis. Because walking is a weight-bearing exercise, it gives the added benefit of strengthening bones. There are a ton of health benefits to walking and walking is a simple task. Even an extra 30 minutes a day of walking can benefit you.
Walking is a simple task. You don’t need a gym membership, it’s free, it can be done anywhere at any time, and you don’t need any equipment to be able to walk. Make sure when you are walking that you have on comfortable shoes that give your feet the support they need. If you don’t have 30 minutes in your day to go for a walk, look at what you do have. Can you spare 10 minutes at a time throughout your day to walk? Can you park further away when you’re going into a building? Can you take a quick walk around the block? You’re in control of how and when you accomplish your physical activity goals.
While walking outside is ideal, the weather can have a negative impact on walking outside. When it’s too cold or wet to be outside, think about taking a few extra laps around the grocery store while you are shopping. Look at what kind of indoor environment you have. Take a few laps around the building you work in or dedicate an extra 30 minutes to picking up the house that evening. If you have access to an indoor track, utilize that.
When the weather is nice and you’re able to walk outside, look at using walking as a mode of transportation. Is there a shop nearby that you like to visit? Instead of driving, walk there. Do you live near work or your children’s school? Try leaving a little earlier and walk. If you have a dog, try taking them for a walk around the park or the neighborhood. Being outdoors and getting physical activity can boost your mood, boost energy levels, and can be used as a social time when you invite a friend or two to walk with you.
Taking time to add physical activity to your day will benefit your health long-term. While adding walking into your day is a very simple way to increase physical activity, some days it is harder to find the time to do this. If you don’t have 30 minutes, try to find the time to do 15. Some physical activity is still better for you than no physical activity.