Walking more often has huge Health benefits
As we briefly mentioned in our post ‘How to relieve stress with these 11 Activities’ walking is fantastic for relieving stress and it’s one of the easiest things to do more of.
It also has many other great health benefits some of which we’ll explore below, followed by some ideas of how you can add more steps to your daily life and ways to keep track of this to help you walk forward to a healthier life….
1. Benefits of Walking
Below are some of the best reasons to get out of the office and take a stroll as often as you can…
Firstly it is one of the BEST things you can do for your Health
Constant physical movement in life is key to good Health and sadly todays modern lifestyles force many of us to go in the opposite direction, towards crippling stagnation caused by sitting down far too much and normally in a bad position for the natural mechanics of our body.
Here’s a great read by Dr. Suhas G. Kshirsagar taken from an adapted excerpt of his book ‘The Hot Belly Diet’ and explains why walking is the perfect way to change this on MindBodyGreen
Health Benefits of Walking Barefoot
Ditching the shoes and spending more time walking Barefoot also called ‘Grounding’ or ‘Earthing’ may sound extreme but the potential health benefits are huge. As an example these include…
1. Eliminating headaches
4. Grounds the body with the Earth absorbing Electrons from it which can be one of the most potent Antioxidants and can have an anti-inflammatory effect on your body (Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine.)
If you’d like to read more on this subject the book ‘Earthing: The Most Important Health Discovery Ever!’ by Clint Ober is a great read.
Just be sure to look after your feet!
How Walking in Nature Changes the Brain [row]
Many of us spend far too much time in cities and built up environments and less time in natural, green spaces.Various studies have found that city dwellers who visit natural environments have lower levels of stress hormones.
This post on the New York times digs deeper into how Walking in nature can change the brain for the better, helping make you less stressed and improving mental health by not dwelling on the negative aspects of their lives as much as they had been before the walk.
Help with Heart, Bones, Mood and Longevity
This handy little info graphic from Prevention gives some stats to start thinking about and the areas of the body Walking can really help keep healthy including Bones, Heart, Brain, Mood and Longevity.
Why Everyone From Beethoven, Goethe, Dickens, Darwin To Steve Jobs Took Long Walks and Why You Should Too
Along side Health reasons this post at Canva also describes how it can help be up to 81% more creative (according to a study at Stanford Uni by Marily Oppezzo and Daniel Schwartzwith) along with increase Inspiration, communication and levels of productivity.
2. Ways to put more steps into your daily routine
So what can we do about it and how can we find ways during our already busy days to fit in those extra steps. Here’s a few ideas to get you started.
Start to Monitor and record your weekly walking
To begin with, you’ll need a device or way to monitor your step count. Any pedometer or step counting tool will work perfectly for example a wonderfully useful device is the Fitbit but any other Activity tracker will work perfectly.
There are also literally hundreds of Apps for your mobile, here’s a few we like…
- Walkmeter GPS Pedometer for iphone / ipad
- Pedometer++ for iPhone / iPad
- Pedometer for Android
Then once you have one of these tools you can set the number of steps you’d like to achieve in any given day or set walking distance daily goals and most tools will notify you when you’ve achieved those goals.
Also start to record your weekly and monthly step count, track your progress and see if you naturally adding more steps or if you’d like to push yourself more and achieve some self set goals.
Always remember that if you feel any type of side effects, slow down and contact your doctor immediately.
Even just a 2-Minute Walk will help and May Counter the Harms of Sitting
Instead of catching that cab or jumping on the bus why not try to walk? maybe just to the next bus stop along if it’s a long journey. Instead of driving the kids to school is it close enough to walk it?
Too much sitting down, especially for long lengths of time have been shown to heighten the risk of heart disease, kidney problems and even shorten you life.
So try to stop and think every time you go to leave the house or office and ask yourself can I walk this journey instead or if not the full journey how about a small part of it?
The Benefits of a Lunch Hour Walk
Instead of being chained to your office desk to grab that quick bite to eat before getting back to work or let’s be real you’re not really taking a break at all, head for that office door and wander round the block or to the nearest park.
Not only can this help with your long-term health it should help boost your mood, increase afternoon activity and lower stress levels. So better for everyone including your boss and colleagues.
House & Office Walking
Walking around the office or house is a fantastic way to quickly ratchet up your daily steps count, you’ll be surprised how many you suddenly start to add if you just keep on the move, within your own home.
Best thing it needs no added extras! No gym equipment or membership, no fitness gear and you can’t even let the weather be an excuse.
Just try to walk in place when doing any activity whether it’s cooking, watching TV, brushing teeth and of course chatting on the phone.
Park further away that normal
Why not try parking a few streets further away from work or a block further from school, help get the kids walking more too. Little extra distances such as this can really help put those extra steps into your daily routine.
Limit Computer screen time
More likely than not you’ll be sitting down whilst browsing the web, answering emails or working on your computer so why not set an alarm for a given amount of time per day, to help you get away from that screen and reduce your time in that seat.
It’s not all about step count though, for those of you who don’t want to take this too seriously and just want to relax more then the main thing is just get outside to your local park, woods, canal or footpath and just enjoy nature and the best it has to offer!
Your turn now. Why not let us know in the comments below…
How do you find ways to walk more?
Have you found great ways to monitor your Walking and step count?
Any tips on great locations that really inspire you and help you to feel great after a long walk through them?