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You’ve probably seen the studies. Health experts tell us we should strive to get between 3 and 5 hours of exercise each week. These so-called “experts” don’t seem to understand that you have a family, career, friends, and a hobby and you wonder how you can fit 5 hours of exercise into that jam-packed calendar. First of all, know that you are not alone. This scenario is extremely common. Luckily I have 3 creative ways to get more walking into your schedule.
YOUR Health Is Important
Before I explain my walking tips, I want to take a moment to try to get your mind right. You might think it’s altruistic and noble to sacrifice your health for the benefit of your family, employer, etc. Within our current culture, it is easy to get sucked into that mindset. In the end though, you will not be able to fulfill your responsibilities as a parent, spouse, employee, business owner, or friend if you are unhealthy, have low energy, or lack strength, stamina, and confidence. You must make your health a top priority, even if that means saying “No.” to some of the other activities that seem more important.
Put One Foot In Front Of The Other
Luckily, it is usually not necessary to choose between our health and the other demands of life. There are many ways to have our cake and eat it too. The best part is, all you have to do is walk. This might just be the ultimate exercise. It is inexpensive and can be done anywhere. You can walk alone, or with others. Heck, you can even make it into an epic quest as Steve from Nerd Fitness wrote in this great post on How To Walk To Mordor.
If you are trying to make a change in your life, but find it hard to get started, walking is the best solution. Not only is it the most natural and simple form of exercise, but it is also a great metaphor for change as Kris Kringle explains to the Winter Warlock (C’mon you know the words):
3 Ways To Fit Walking Into Your Busy Schedule
Without further ado, here are three very simple and creative ways to integrate walking with other daily activities:
1. Walk to/from work – Lace up your comfy shoes, allow a few extra minutes, and you will arrive at work feeling energized and ready to take on the day. You might think this will leave you feeling tired, but it will have the opposite effect. The fresh air and low intensity effort will wake you up and clear your mind. Not only that, you will also save gas money and reduce air pollution. What could be better?
Safety is an important consideration with this activity. I do not want you to walk on a busy street without a sidewalk or during unsafe weather conditions, but if you happen to live within a few miles of the office and can follow a well-lit pathway, I highly recommend this mode of transportation. Start a trend and encourage your co-workers to do it too. Maybe if some folks live too far, or in an unsafe area, they can all drive to one safe location and walk together from there. Be the change. Set the example.
2. Hold walking meetings – Rather than huddling around a desk, conduct your meeting while you stroll around the office/factory or the area surrounding it. This is ideal for one-on-one or small group meetings that do not require extensive use of computers, projectors, etc. See if you can get the boss to buy in and make it a company-wide effort. At a minimum, I recommend letting the boss know what you are up to. That way, you won’t be viewed as a slacker who is always wandering around. Your co-workers might think it is strange at first, but once they see a few others doing it, they will want to join in.
If the boss won’t allow walking meetings, try to organize a lunchtime walking group. This could be something that makes your company’s culture more attractive to new workers, improves productivity and morale, increases staff retention, and decreases healthcare costs.
3. Walk during your child’s activities – If your kids are anything like mine, you spend a great deal of time sitting around during your child’s activities. For example, you might be sitting in the bleachers, a lawn chair, or your car while your child practices a sport or takes music lessons. Maybe he/she is involved in a travelling team with weekend tournaments. Rather than sit during this time, get up and walk. Do laps around the field or gym.
Especially during the travelling activities, explore a new area on foot to see if you can find a nice park, coffee shop, trail, etc. Invite other parents to join you. Even if they say no at first, keep trying. Tell them about how much better you feel after your walk. Tell them about the amazing things you saw or did. I’ll wager a few of them will eventually join in.
MAKE A CHANGE TODAY