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

Exercising on a Road Trip: Make Time and Space for a Workout

GettyImages-816941230 (1)A member recently asked me how they can stay active while they are traveling or otherwise unable to make it to the gym. Here I’ll discuss several different topics to address the issue, taking into consideration space, time, equipment, and the individual’s goals. Our members’ ages are between 67 and 100, so the goals will vary depending on functional ability.

Making Space for a Workout

The first issue I want to talk about is space. If you are traveling to a hotel or condo, you might have a gym or studio on site that you can use. If you are in a camper or RV, plan to be outside under a canopy or in a separate area at the campsite. Some members are going to another house for the summer and they have planned on having an extra bedroom to complete their workouts. Most workouts can be completed in a 10-foot by 8-foot space.

Finding Time for a Workout

The next issue to consider when you’re away from your normal gym is time. Making time while on vacation or a road trip is a must. Keeping to a specific time each day can help keep you consistent. If you can’t keep one specific time, pick a time later in the day that you need to have your workout completed by. Working with a partner or trainer can help keep you consistent, too.

Equipment for Working Out While Traveling

The equipment that you use will probably be modified depending on your space and where you travel. Keep this in mind when you work on your program. Remember that body weight and unstable environments, as well as tempo, can create more progressive movements. You can also get a stretching mat, resistance bands, a stability ball, or small weights. You may also want some music to keep you moving. Here are some workouts that don't require equipment.

What Is Your Fitness Goal?

The last and probably most important aspect of any workout will be goal setting. If your goal is to lose weight, gain weight, or develop more cardiovascular ability, you need to account for these when you plan for time, space, and equipment. Make sure that you keep a log of your workouts. While you’re not in your normal routine, this can be a huge benefit if you loose track of days or are not sure how many workouts you have completed in a month.

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Topics: goals equipment workouts fitness goals staying active while traveling traveling