For a lot of people, the words “exercise” and “keeping fit” are often accompanied by mental images of someone going for a jog, working out in a gym, or maybe lifting weights. These are all valid ways of staying in a shape, of course, but they require commitment, self-motivation, and time that not everyone is able to find within their tightly-packed schedules. However, there is a quicker, alternative way to improve your fitness that can also boost your cardiovascular health, build your stamina and burn those excess calories – all without costing you a penny.
Yep, you guessed it… walking!
The humble walk is often overlooked as form of exercise, but the beauty of it is in its simplicity; all you need is your feet, a pair of comfy shoes, and a spare few minutes out of your day in which to do it. The official NHS recommendation is to take a ten minute walk every day at a pace brisk enough for you to still be able to talk but not sing the words to a song, which is a great starting point and should be achievable for pretty much everyone in one way or another.
“Going for a walk” isn’t the only way to give your mood and wellbeing a boost by walking, though. There are plenty of other ways of getting your step count up which may not seem quite so obvious, so we’ve listed a few below to give you some inspiration:
- Resist the shortcuts: although it may be tempting to use the lift or take the shortest route from point A to point B, these moments are perfect opportunities to get in some extra steps and get your heart pumping without eating too much into your day.
- Host your workplace meetings on the move: this suggestion might seem a little unorthodox to some, but it’s an excellent way to not only top up your step count – it can help build stronger bonds within your team, too, and the change of scenery might just inspire you to think a little more outside the box.
- Use the bathroom furthest away: this one is pretty self-explanatory and can be done no matter your location. Whether it’s going to the upstairs toilet instead of the downstairs one at home, changing which set of bathrooms you go to at work, or simply walking to the furthest cubicle away when you’re out and about rather than choosing the closest one, these seemingly small choices can make quite a big impact by the end of the day.
- Move to the rhythm: music is a powerful tool that can improve our mood, motivate us, and mask the passing of time with just a few beats. By pumping some tunes while you’re out on that daily walk we mentioned, you’re more likely to go for longer, at a faster pace, and feel even better afterwards without even realising you’re doing it.
- Make it social: being more active doesn’t have to be a solo venture – get your friends and family involved, too. Next time you meet up with your loved ones, why not pick an activity or location you can walk to together? It could be a meet-up in the park, a dog walk, or simply choosing to have a drink or two at a place local enough for you all to walk to; the choice is yours!
The ease and convenience of these options may sound too good to be true, but the fact is we as humans were designed to be on our feet, not for spending our days sat in office chairs, driving our cars to get around, or using lifts instead of stairs like our modern, sedentary lives encourage. By going “old school” and being more active like our bodies were built to be, we can drastically improve our physical health, mental wellbeing, and set ourselves up for success in other areas of life – a total win-win.
If you’d like to know more about how you can improve the health and wellbeing of your employees, why not speak to one of our team about booking a physical health workshop or activity today?