Corporate Fitness and Active Aging

Transportation on Foot and the Benefits of Walking

GettyImages-936397332 (1)Walking everywhere is slowly becoming a bigger trend, specifically in states that it never used to be. As fitness trackers are being used more and more, step challenges are increasing both at work and at home. Research is discovering the benefits of walking and ensuring that people are getting their steps in every day. Walking is one of the best means to reach physical activity recommendations and by meeting those recommendations, individuals lower their risk for diseases such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obesity, and many more.

Disease prevention is the number one benefit of walking. Diseases such as dementia are being researched more thoroughly and it has been found that physical activity is being proposed to be a prevention factor. Walking is a primary factor to address the obesity epidemic, which can help reduce the risk of major non-communicable diseases mentioned previously. Compared to other activities, walking meets the recommendations of physical activity and creates a lower risk for injury. With little impact on the joints compared to higher intensity exercises, it prevents high risk of injury while being physically active. There are also some psychological benefits to walking, it can improve blood pressure, glucose control and many more, which overall can lead to a much more relaxed lifestyle.

Walking also produces indirect benefits as well. If more people choose to walk as a means of transportation, it will reduce air pollution, which can lead to lower rates of cancer and asthma. Walking or hiking also allows for more interaction with nature, which has also been shown to improve mental health. Walking  is typically associated with social interaction, therefore improving social health and greatly impacting overall mental health and decreasing an early mortality rate. Lastly, by showing more initiation of walking regularly, it can greatly influence the lives of our children. They will see that walking is a regular daily activity and will be more likely to follow in those footsteps. There are many programs that encourage biking and walking to school to increase physical activity in children. Incentive programs are a new norm specifically for increasing activity, by utilizing a program it could also indirectly influence their parents as far as walking as a means of transportation goes.

The benefits of walking are never ending whether it be a direct or indirect association. If individuals learn and understand these benefits, walking can be the new norm for every day transportation. It will not just occur when it is the first warm day of the season or the last warm day of the season as many do now. The benefits of walking and the fact that it can lead to an overall healthier lifestyle physically, mentally, and socially, should be more than enough reason for individuals to ditch their cars or a seated lunch break and walk more regularly.

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Topics: employee wellbeing walking tips fitness routine traveling movement nature

How to Move More at Work and During the Day

GettyImages-905323392 (1)Let’s face it, daily life can be very busy and sometimes overwhelming to many of us. Trying to fit in exercise every day can seem like a chore and many times gets put at the bottom of the “to-do” list even though we all know it should be near the top. Just because you can’t fit in a trip to the gym or attend your favorite exercise class doesn’t mean that you can’t get exercise or at least some movement time throughout your day. Your body can even benefit from little bits of movement at a time if that is all you have time for, so there really should not be any excuses not to get some movement or exercise in your day.

Exercise at Lunch

Lunch breaks are a great time to fit in exercise. Bring your tennis shoes to work and take a walk. It can be around the building inside or outside, through a neighborhood nearby, or on a treadmill if that is available to you. Walk for as much time as your schedule allows. If you don’t have time for a shower afterward, just don’t push yourself quite as hard. Walking is great for your body!

Getting in Extra Steps During the Workday

You can fit in exercise in your office! Take the stairs between floors—skip that elevator! Park far away on purpose so you get a 5- or 10-minute walk in and out of your office. That could potentially add up to 20 minutes of movement or exercise depending on how fast you walk. Here are a few other tips for getting more exercise at work.

Move While You’re Waiting on the Kids

If you are a parent, chances are your kids are or will be involved in activities. So many times parents just drop their child off and sit in their cars to wait, or just leave to do something else. Your child is getting their exercise, why not get yours as well? You can take a walk, run, or ride your bike around the area they are practicing in so as to maximize your time. For those days when there are games, the kids usually need to be there early to warm up, so you can use that warmup time to move your body as well instead of sitting in your chair or car for that extra 30 to 60 minutes.

Work Out at the Park

If you frequently take your kids to parks, work out at the park while they play! Park benches are great for pushups, dips, lunges, squats, and step-ups. Monkey bars work well for pull-ups, and running up the steps and sliding down the slides is a little cardiovascular work—not to mention fun! Don’t forget, you can use your kids as little (or big) weights and resistance machines, too!

Plan Active Gatherings

Plan family and friend time as active gatherings. Take walks, go on bike rides, or go swimming (or sledding, ice skating, or skiing in winter) together. You can still talk while doing many of those activities. Join a gym with a friend so your social time also becomes your exercise time.

There is no rule that says all exercise has to be at a gym or that you have to set aside 30 to 60 minutes every single day to purposely do one set workout. You should find an activity that you enjoy doing and incorporate that into your daily life. Everyone has different goals and will have different needs for exercise, but with a few modifications in your daily routine you should be able to start moving more and sitting less throughout the day.

Interested in how you can add exercise to your wellness program?  Check out our whitepaper for tips to be successful.

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Topics: exercise at work staying active counting steps exercises I can do with my kids movement