Tips for Getting Your Steps In
By walking with friends, family, even your co-workers, you can catch up, and enjoy the physical benefits at the same time.
These days you can't help but hear that many Americans suffer from serious health problems, such as obesity, diabetes, and heart disease from eating poorly or not getting enough physical activity. Most of us know that regular physical activity is one of the most important things we can do to improve our health. Between work, school, running errands, and family commitments, finding ways to fit physical activity into our busy schedules can sometimes feel like a challenge
Fortunately, the 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans provides options for reaching your physical activity goals through different kinds of activities. That's the good news. Want even better news? One of the most popular forms of physical activity is one you already do every day—walking! More than 145 million adults now include walking as part of their physically active lifestyle. So if you're not as active as you would like, why not consider walking more?
Did you know that walking briskly for 2 hours and 30 minutes each week— easily broken up into five 30-minute walks—can actually get you the physical activity you need to help you stay healthy and prevent disease? It's that simple! However, for some, even this much activity can seem hard to achieve. If that's true for you, don't be discouraged. There are many ways to incorporate more walking into your busy life that only require small changes to everyday activities.
Try some of the tips below, and you'll be amazed at how quickly the steps start adding up.
- Replace time spent circling the parking lot for a spot up-close. Park further away and walk to your destination.
- Host a walking meeting. Walk and talk over work problems with your co-workers for the first 20 minutes, then hit the conference room to write down ideas and finish up.
- Make a few extra laps around the mall. When out shopping, walk the length of the mall before going into any stores. The mall is also a good place to walk to avoid bad weather outside.
- Arrive at the airport 15-30 minutes earlier. Walk to your gate or terminal instead of taking the train.
- Make a "Walk-and-Talk" date with a friend or family member. Skip the latte and do a loop around the neighborhood instead.
- Take a walking lunch break at work. Keep extra shoes and socks in your filing cabinet.
- Walk while you are waiting. Instead of sitting on the bleachers while your child's at sports practice, walk around the field. Walk outside the restaurant as you wait for your table to be ready.
- Find a convenient walking path near your home, kids' activities, or work.