This week, we’re celebrating National Walk to Work Day. While it’s probably not feasible for most of us to walk to work, we can still participate in the celebration. As more people work from home, people are actually taking a walk around their block as part of their morning commute. I love that!
You guys, walking is an awesome form of exercise. A lot of people don’t even realize that walking has many of the same benefits as running. In fact, a 2013 study found that people who walk are 9% less likely to have cardiovascular disease than those who are inactive. Imagine that! Something we do every day anyway can be the perfect form of exercise we didn’t know we needed! Plus, walking can also be a lot of fun!
Since the average person burns around 75 calories/mile walking at a 3 MPH pace, here’s some food for thought:
- If you walk 1 mile/day for a year, you’ll burn almost 8 pounds. Simply by walking.
- If you walk 3 miles/day, 4 days/week for a year, you’ll burn a little over 13 pounds.
- If walking is really your thing, and you walk 3 miles/day for a year, you’ll burn over 23 pounds.
And to borrow a phrase from Dr. Suess, “Oh, the places you’ll go,” simply by walking:
- Walk 2 miles a day for 13 days, you’ve walked the Boston Marathon.
- Walk 3 miles a day for 90 days, you’ve walked the Grand Canyon end to end.
- Walk 3 miles a day for 365 days? you’ve walked from New York City to Orlando, Florida.
Simple Ways to Increase Your Step Count
If you feel overwhelmed by adding another activity to your workload, don’t worry. I’ve got you! These are some simple ways to add some extra steps without changing your routine. Try these out and get walking:
- Choose the farthest parking spot from the store, your workplace, or wherever you are going.
- Anyone else listen to music as they cook? Dance (standing up) to at least one song a day!
- Opt to climb the stairs instead of using escalators or elevators. If you work in a high rise, challenge yourself to climb the first 3 flights of stairs before you take the elevator the rest of the way.
- Use work breaks and/or calls (if work allows) as an opportunity to move your legs, get some fresh air, and increase your step count for the day.
- Take a one-minute stretch and walk break each hour that you work.
- Use the restroom, copy machine, printer, water fountain, break room, etc., that is farther from your work area.
While we’re all aware of the physical benefits of walking (burns calories, increases good cholesterol, lowers blood pressure, etc.), it also has some bonus perks. Walking improves your mood and relieves stress, and it gives you the opportunity to unplug from life for a while.
So celebrate the day and grab a co-worker, a friend, a family member, a pet, or yourself, and take a walk! It’s just that easy.
11 Tips for Stress Management
Fit On The Job! 6 Tips + 14 Exercises for the Desk Bound Professional
Keeping Life, Workouts, and Routines as Simple as Pie
Simple Fitness: Walk It Off + Get Moving
Building Healthy Habits: Kids’ Fitness at Every Age