Walking is one of the most versatile forms of exercise, because you can do it just about anytime, anywhere. These tips will help you get your walk on at the right time for you.
Like to move as soon as your feet hit the floor?
- Before you go to bed, get your walking clothes and shoes ready so it’s easy to put them on quickly and head out the door.
- Eat a piece of fruit or a few spoonfuls of yogurt for a quick fuel-up.
- Walking to your favorite jams may help get you moving. Just make sure you can still hear traffic.
- If it’s still dark, wear reflective clothing or carry a light.
- Be sure to stretch a bit at the end of your walk. Watch a morning news show or check your email while stretching.
Is lunchtime the only break in your busy day?
- Schedule your lunchtime walk in your work calendar. Think of it as an important appointment.
- Keep everything you need for walking at work. This way you won’t find yourself saying “I forgot my shoes. I can’t go.”
- Recruit some coworkers to join you. You can keep each other on track.
- Depending on your walking pace, the weather and how much you sweat, you may be able to wear your work clothes and just put on athletic shoes. Or you may prefer to change into a t-shirt.
- In cooler weather, you might need a jacket, hat or gloves. If you’re walking briskly, you’ll heat up in about 10 minutes, so don’t overdress.
- Bring your lunch or pick a route where you can grab a quick healthy meal at the end of your walk.
Is working out after work your idea of happy hour?
- Have a light snack about an hour or two before you leave so you don’t experience an energy dip and talk yourself out of walking. Try yogurt, a handful of almonds or a piece of fruit.
- Pick a route without heavy traffic because rush hour can increase air pollutants.
- Do some shoulder rolls and other warm-ups to release the stress of the day before heading out.
- If it’s already dark, wear reflective clothing or carry a light.
Every Step Counts
Most adults should try for at least 150 minutes (2.5 hours) a week of moderate intensity activity. A 30-minute walk on at least five days a week is a good start. But what if you’re so tight on time that you can’t spare a half hour every day? Then get creative and break up your activity into 10- or 15-minute sessions. For example:
- In the morning, park or get off the bus/train about 10 minutes away from your job and walk briskly to work.
- At lunch, walk for 10 minutes around where you work, indoors or outdoors.
- At the end of the day, walk briskly for 10 minutes back to your car or station.
And there you have an easy 30-minute daily workout! Remember, exercise is any kind of physical activity that gets your heart rate up for at least 10 minutes at a time.