The chances that you read this article with your behind firmly placed in a couch or chair are quite likely. I haven’t mastered the art of podcasts yet to turn the written word into a tale of wisdom by using my vocal cords.
And maybe, I should transform it to the spoken word as this brings forward that one step at a time concept I so adamantly want to push forward. Time to reflect, listen, rekindle and make your way to your next destination as the kinetic principles of human movement does their internal magic.
Strapping on some running shoes is what we choose to believe when in need of moving to lose some weight. It has definitely proven to be an effective means for some weight loss.
By tapping into the right energy system – we have three in total – a good jog or decent run under the morning sun may just well be the jump cables you need to kick start the day. Clearing one’s mind, prepping your upper regions with a dose of energy, and can pull down cortisol levels –those in the running mode know the power of a 5-k run. It doesn‘t have to be that long to be effective.
What if you don’t like to run? Or have too little time to kit yourself out for setting up properly for a jog with running mates? Our minds say that our options will thin out when the pleasure of running is not what we aim for. Many of us tried to follow the lead through the mountains, parks and streets in search of that hidden body we wish you can display soon.
No more huffing and puffing when climbing the stairs or chasing your filled-with-energy children across the playground.
We all have our preference of what we do and don’t like. The fun element is crucial to start something that will make you thrive again. Enforcing something to do one cannot phantom as being fun is doomed to fail. So why bother enforcing running when this may lead to dumping your running outfit in the dumpster?
What are your alternatives?
I need to move, prefer to move every single day yet dread the running methodology?
There are always elliptical and rowing machines, stationary bikes and treadmills at the nearby fitness centres. Excellent alternatives when running is not on your wish list. Investing in one is one thing, using them is another one. They may eat dust and go on a 2nd hand stuff-for-sale website once you’re bored of them. Good intentions but worth spending a couple of bucks on it?
Movement doesn’t have to cost a dime because you carry one of the most effective means for physically and mentally resetting your mind, body and spirit. Its underestimated power is now one of the most sought-after methods to achieve the same, every day, and with added benefits.
I am talking simply about walking.
We all have heard about walking 10,000 steps a day to keep the doctor away. The truth is not far from it. Those leisurely strolls from A to B have proven to be highly effective for many functions; from stabilising cortisol levels to increasing blood flow, the power of a walk is so underestimated.
Although scientists are putting the 10,000-step minimum to the test (more or less is better?), the numbers do not lie when regularly reaching these numbers. Or go beyond them.
And all it takes is 15-20 minutes every time, a couple of times a day.
Just a few more benefits of what walking does as well
- It relaxes tremendously;
- It allows you to be one with your thoughts. Some of the best ideas about work or life, in general, come from when I take a stroll;
- It resets your eyes after hours at your computer or other screens;
- An outside walk early in the morning gives you that boost of morning Vitamin D and resets your circadian clock. Preference for an outside walk above a treadmill walk remains for sure;
- It improves internal growth i.e. neurons and stimulates the flow of various liquids and fluids (spinal, lymph and blood plasma have been proven to benefit from walking);
- It is so easy to combine with listening to some music, a good podcast, or even focusing on your breathwork;
- You burn calories! Yes, you do!
- No need to extensively plan ahead when heading out for a stroll. Just hit the streets, the park or any other way and just go;
- A great time to catch up with friends. Hit the dunes, forest or the beach. Who doesn’t like a beach walk?
- Just the time you need in between meetings and computer time. All it takes is 5 minutes;
Some tips to get you walking more
- Park your vehicle as far away as possible when in need of those extra steps. A new definition of smart parking?
- Plan those walks into your daily routine. Block off the time in your calendar and do it. Don’t let walking take second place and loosely plan it in your daily schedule.
- Instead of taking the elevator to the 2nd floor, why not sneak into the emergency exit and take the stairs? You may reach your destination even sooner.
- Stack walking with another habit – podcasts, music, or talking with your friend on the phone.
- Just record the number of hours you are not walking but make use of Ubers, public transport, or not even getting bothered about getting up and buying those last few groceries.
- Use an app. There are plenty of apps and smartwatches available where you can check your steps, plan your walks, find walking suggestions around your area.
- Get that list of destinations you actually can walk to and from, and do it.
- Don’t get back to your desk after lunch and you still have time during your break. Hit the road and increase your daily step intake.
Finding excuses not to walk are there aplenty. Rain or shine, we all see these as hindrances and obstacles not to set a foot outside to get that recharge. While walking outside primes you up for a healthy success, taking a couple of steps on a treadmill may just well be the movement you(r body)is craving for.
With everything in life, consistency is key. And there are quite a few more things connected to get a move on.
All truly great thoughts are conceived while walking. | Friedrich Nietzsche