So often we say or think we do not have time to exercise. There is not enough time in the day. Does this sound like you? Are you too busy to go for a walk? If so, you are missing out on so many health benefits. Good news. Make a slight change to your daily habits and start walking to and from work. It is a great way to start and finish your working day.
Do I hear you say you live too far away to walk to work. That is okay. Instead get off the bus or train a few stops earlier and walk the rest of the way. Do you drive to work? Park further away or get to work earlier and go for a walk. It will clear your head after battling the traffic.
Walking is one of the best ways to improve and maintain good health. It is low impact, is minimum risk and you can walk at your own pace. Just a minimum 30 minutes a day has so many health benefits. It improves your mental and physical health. And it is free. You do not require any special equipment, just a good pair of walking shoes.
You can save money walking to work and do your bit for the environment by reducing your carbon footprint. What is even better is that walking benefits your body, mind and spirit.
Benefits of walking to work
Walking is a weight bearing exercise so there is minimal risk of injury. The health benefits include:
- Weight loss.
- Improved muscle strength.
- Increased endurance.
- Better balance.
- Strengthening your bones.
- Lowering stress and blood pressure levels.
- Decreasing the risk of developing heart disease, osteoporosis, some cancers and type 2 diabetes.
- Increased heart and lung fitness.
- Improved mental health.
- Clearer focus.
Make walking to work part of your daily routine
Walking to work or home can become part of your daily routine. This is one of the most effective ways to help you lose weight and keep it off.
While the ideal minimum is walking 30 minutes at a time, you may find it too difficult to do when you first start. Instead do regular walking sessions of 10 minutes at a time three times a day. And you can build this up gradually to the point you can walk 30 minutes as your fitness improves. But remember to check with your doctor before starting any new exercise regime.
When walking to work is too difficult there are other ways to incorporate walking into your work day. These include:
- Going for a walk during your lunch break.
- Taking the stairs instead of the lift.
- Leaving the car at home and walking to the local shops.
- Taking the dog for a walk.
- Organising a walking group with friends.
How fast to walk
Walking slowly will burn fewer kilojoules than walking quickly. But this does not mean you should push yourself beyond your current capacity. There is no point walking if you are gasping for air. It will only put you off. A good test is to walk at a rate so you can still talk. Walking safely within you target heart rate is good for your health.
As you get into your regular walking routine, your body will become used to doing physical activity. Your fitness level will improve so you can increase the intensity by:
- Carrying hand weights as you walk.
- Taking longer walks.
- Walking up hills.
- Walking faster for short periods before slowing down again.
- Increasing the distance and pace you walk.
Warm up and cool down
Warm up by walking slowly at the start so your muscles have the chance to warm up. After 5 or 10 minutes, pick up speed. When you finish, gently stretch the muscles in your legs for around 20 seconds. Avoid overstretching as it could cause tears or overstretch your muscle tissue. This is the last thing you want to do. Overstretching can also cause muscle soreness and stiffness. Gradually cooling down prevents injury and feeling stiff afterwards.
Walking to work improves fitness levels
Walking to work improves your fitness levels as it is a good cardio form of exercise. And you do not need to sweat it out at the gym. When you walk fast enough you raise your heart rate and lung capacity, which has the same benefits as working out on a treadmill.
When you walk to work or home regularly, you will not feel so worn out at the end of the day. You will have more energy than when you used public transport or drove to commute to work.
Improve your mental health
It is a well-known fact that exercise is good for your mental health. And that goes for walking too. According to research, physical activity changes the chemicals in your brain. It releases endorphins which boosts your mood. Walking has a positive impact on your self-esteem and motivation which increases your productivity.
Walking to and from work will make you mindful and aware of your surroundings. Instead of staring at your phone while commuting, you enjoy the blueness of the sky and the environment. Smile at others as you pass each other. It stimulates your mind, boosts your energy levels and helps you think more clearly. When you are out walking, it is difficult to feel depressed or stressed.
Prevents health problems
Walking helps to prevent health problems. It keeps your body and mind in good shape. It lowers the risk of developing many physical and mental health issues. And the bonus is you get to enjoy the world around you. Invest in a pair of comfortable walking shoes and enjoy the multiple benefits of walking to start and finish your day.
Lowers stress levels
Regular walking lowers your stress levels. While you may not feel like walking when your stress levels are high, a quick walk can increase your wellbeing. Research shows that people who replace driving or public transport with walking to work were less stressed and had better focus.
More personal time
You have to travel to and from work already, so walking gives you more personal time. Instead of getting home and finding the time to exercise, you achieve two goals at the same time. Walking to work is a truly a convenient way to exercise.
Walking to and from work saves you money over time. No longer will you have public transport or taxi fares or petrol costs. You will not need a gym membership or to pay for exercise classes. Just think how much money you can save to spend on a better lifestyle.
Time to think
Walking is excellent thinking time. It allows you to meditate on life and everything. And it is a good way to solve work problems without the stress or pressure of the workplace. By walking to work you arrive fresh with a clear mind ready to take on anything thrown at you. It is the perfect time to organise your thoughts before starting another busy day. Walking home is also good as it burns off the stress of another work day.
Other benefits of walking to work
Other benefits of walking to work include:
- Enjoying the beauty of the world around you and breathing in the fresh air.
- Coming up with creative solutions for any problems weighing you down.
- Being a good influence on your friends, family and colleagues. They may copy your good example.
- Listening to your favourite music as you walk and you will soon reach your destination. You will not even notice time slip away.
- Helping to lower your body fat percentage. Walking around 10,000 steps a day is easy when you ditch the car and public transport.
Now can you see the benefits of walking to and from work? Are you willing to try it? The sooner you do, the quicker you will experience all the benefits of walking to work.
We are here to help
Mental health issues may be hard to overcome. Dealing with the challenges of mental health is tough. Even when you have support, you may feel people do not really understand or it is not enough. And when you are taking medication, sometimes you may need something more or a different way to clear your head.
If you are struggling, consider reaching out. When you are not coping, contact us to find out how we aim to help get your life back on track. But if you reach a crisis point, call us immediately. We are here to help support you through a crisis and we may be able to help you quickly deal with things better.
We can work with you over the phone, via Skype or in our Spas. Book in today for my Emotional Empowerment Program. I have an introductory offer for just $79 so you may start taking back control of your life. We aim to support you to help you cope with any mental health challenges. Our help may alleviate the effects of mental health issues so you look forward to a life filled with happiness and joy.
Let me help alleviate the effects of mental health issues
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