Healthy living is a very active theme in my work place. It is the driving force behind most of our team bonding activities. We go on hikes, run 5Ks, and find ways to spice up our lunches with healthier alternatives. The biggest trend however is the addition to pedometers to some of my colleagues wardrobes. These bracelets have shaped how they have worked. Daily, more like hourly, I see them speed walking around the office in their version of the Amazing Race. They are constantly checking their progress against others who rock that same bracelet. Does speed walking around the office really affect their health?
As a natural speed walker, I decided to put my pedometer to use. It is amazing how accessible pedometers are to our daily lives. Not only do they come in hi-tech bracelets, but they are now built into our cell phones. Who knew? According to my pedometer and some research, the average person is supposed to get 10,000 steps/day. At first, I thought this would be a cake walk. (pun intended). Check out my my first day.
Like I predicted, I was able to meet the goal no problem. This was not my typical Monday. It was more active than usual during work but also included my work out and some exploring. I thought it would be easy to maintain, if not improve. Check out a week later.
I was sadly defeated. It was SO hard to make my steps that day. I was so busy with work. One thing led to another and then I was in bed. It can get so easy to stay sedentary. Especially if you are a desk-jockey like myself.
I was digging around to find out recommendations on how to incorporate walking more into my daily life. I stumbled upon a great article. Harvard Health Publications released this article about walking and its impact on our health. Here are some take-aways:
- Walk vs. Run. This is music to my ears. Running, as we know, is a high impact exercise. Walking can accomplish the same outcomes in a safer manner. I am more than happy to walk a little more and a little faster to get the same outcome as running.
- “Walking is a man’s best medicine”-Hippocrates Such a wise man. How can you say no to lower rates of cardiovascular disease, heart disease, strokes, and lower death rates?
- Take the Stairs. Yes, please. It is crazy to think how often we rely on machines to do walking for us. It makes sense why this article noted coaches and housewives for being so fit. It is because they use the stairs!
- “It (climbing) was twice as taxing as brisk walking on the level and 50% harder than walking up a steep incline or lifting weights.”
So it is clear, walking is our new best friend. It make sense. We were designed to do it. We just need to do it more! Goodbye are the days of waiting for the elevator or driving to the corner store. Who needs a walking buddy?