We always maintain that, unless you are a regular fitness fanatic, the best and most convenient form of general activity you can do is walking.
Why is this…when everyone knows that you’d have to walk for hours just to work off that full fat muffin you had with your coffee this morning?
Well, it’s not about how you can burn off each individual calorie, it’s about wanting a long term solution to control weight and boosting fitness levels (which, let’s face it, most of us do) and to do that, you have to be looking at changing your whole “activity” lifestyle.
We all lead busy lives, so this doesn’t mean hours playing a sport or running half marathons (although that’s good if you can do it!), but it does mean getting ACTIVE and the easiest way to do this is to walk more…and when you do, walk briskly! It’s good for your heart and lungs, your joints and definitely your all round health. You don’t need to have special clothes, or equipment, you can do it anywhere and it’s free!
So plan more walks into your life. A brisk ten minuter can do a lot of good if done regularly and if you can manage longer ones or several short walks in a day, so much the better. Make sure you move your arms and walk fast so that your heartbeat increases.
No time? Then you have to try and re-adjust your day to fit it in or utilise “dead” time better. Go for a walk with a friend instead of going for a coffee, walk instead of watching TV and whenever you are standing still somewhere (waiting for a train or a bus, waiting for your child to come out of school etc) walk up and down instead. Get off the bus one stop before and walk, park the car farther from wherever you are going and walk…better still leave the car at home! It’s also a great idea to go for a brisk walk after your evening meal…it’ll stop you flopping onto the sofa with a snack and you’ll feel re-energised as well.
Walking is also beneficial because it gives you time to think…something which none of us have enough time to do! It’s an effective de-stresser and relaxer too.
And remember the important thing is to treat these changes to your habits and routines as a permanent change, rather than just a temporary one. Think of it as a whole new way of life.
And now things get better because research done by Stanford University in the U.S. have shown that walking makes you more creative as well, not just whilst you are actually moving, but also for some time after you stop! They also found that it was the actual walking that was important, rather than the setting or the company. See the link to their work at the bottom of the page.
So now there’s a double benefit…definitely something to think about when you are next out!
New In 90 team
New In 90 is a structured plan that changes your eating and activity habits and beliefs over 90 days using daily objectives that are simple and achievable but add up over time to produce real results.