There are numerous benefits of taking a walk, however taking just one walk won’t yield the benefits like making a daily habit of walking more.
Walking is by far one of the best forms of exercise for persons of any age. The benefits of taking a walk range from strengthening your heart by getting your blood pumping, the opportunity for fresh air, getting natural vitamin D from the sun, improving your mood and sense of well-being, providing you with increased energy, lowering your blood pressure, maintaining your functional mobility, strengthening your muscles and weight loss.
It’s fairly easy to incorporate more walking into your schedule as generally you can walk just about anywhere and there is no specialized equipment required. Even if you use a wheelchair to mobilize, going for a walk or a roll (whichever you call it) is beneficial to your health.
Here are 10 easy ways to incorporate more walking into your schedule:
- Park just once while doing your errands. Since moving to the country I have developed a routine to group my errands by the location I am headed to. I park once in a central location and I walk from location to location completing my errands. This gives me ample opportunity to enjoy walking, plus it saves a little bit of fuel and wear and tear on my vehicle.
- Take the stairs instead of elevators or escalators. Sure it’s convenient and fast to take the elevator or the escalator but you limit the number of steps you can achieve in a day by taking the easy route. Opt to change your habits and take the stairs instead. I don’t often run across elevators and escalators on my daily routine, however, I steer clear and take the stairs whenever possible to get my heart pumping and my legs moving.
- Park at the back of the parking lot when you go to work, go shopping or head out to other public venues. This is one of my favourite small changes that can be made to take more steps in a day. Try parking further and further away from entrances of the venues you visit until you are parking at the back of the lot.
- If you take the subway or the bus, try getting off one stop earlier than your regular stop. This is a great way to get fresh air and help you achieve your daily stepping goal.
- Find a walking buddy to go out with after dinner or before breakfast each day. I find that walking is more motivating if you have a friend to walk with and talk with. Or in my case, I have 2 dogs that keep me motivated to walk multiple times a day and they keep me on my toes too!
- Forget taking short cuts. I like to take the longest route when walking. Forget shaving time or distance off your walk by cutting through the cat walk or park. Walk around to get the most benefit from your walk.
- Never sit still. When talking on the phone, pace around the room and stay active.
- Don’t send that email. Take a walk to your co-workers desk instead of sending an email. Not only will you get walking more, you will also get a good stretch and take an eye break, which is recommended every 30-60 minutes in sedentary type jobs.
- Take the long way to your mailbox. If you get home mail delivery, take a lap around your property before collecting your mail to get more steps. If your mail is delivered to a community super box, why not take a walk there instead. However, if it’s too far to walk, then drive close to it and park a little ways away, then walk to collect your mail.
- Track your steps. Use a wearable fitness device or a smartphone app like Carrot Rewards to track your daily stepping activity. The best thing about Carrot Rewards is they are giving you the chance to earn loyalty rewards like SCENE, Petro Points and Aeroplan rewards for using the app and achieving your walking goals.
Walking Challenge Giveaway Details It takes a minimum of 21 days to form a new habit, so the giveaway will run from Monday May 1, 2017 to May 21, 2017. The giveaway is open to all Canadians 18+ excluding Quebec. How to enter:
- First set a walking goal for yourself: Do you want to walk for a set number of minutes each day? Would you rather set a goal with a specific number of steps?
- Leave a comment below stating: “I’m up for the walking challenge; and have set a goal to complete (enter the number of steps or number of minutes) each day.” This is your entry into the grand prize draw. Make sure you complete the entry in the contest widget too!
- Return every day, comment with how you did AND answer the daily question: Tell me if you reached your daily goal and answer the question to gain two entries into the weekly draw and grand prize draw.
Prizes to win: There will be 1 grand prize and 3 weekly prizes to win. The prizes include: Weekly Prizes: There will be one randomly selected winner each week who will receive a $10 iTunes e-gift card. Grand Prize: There will be one randomly selected winner on May 22, 2017 who will win a movie ticket package for 4 and a $20 Cineplex Entertainment gift card for concession purchases.
Week 1 winner: Andrea ($10 iTunes gift card)
Week 2 winner: Julie F. ($10 iTunes gift card)
Week 3 winner: Allie F. ($10 iTunes gift card)
Grand prize winner: Betty S. (4 Cineplex Passes + $20 Cineplex Gift Card)
I hope you have fun and good luck!