Think You Don’t Have Time to Experience the Benefits of Walking? Think Again!
Most of us know that exercising is one of the secrets to good health after 60. Unfortunately, unlike the midlife men and women that you see on TV, baby boomers in the real world are busy. We are juggling careers, pursuing our passions, staying engaged with our families and preparing for the next phase of our lives.
Fortunately, there are plenty of simple steps that you can take to move more without hurting your productivity. One of the simplest strategies is to build walking into your daily routine. After all, according to researchers, walking can help you lose weight, reduce stress, manage your blood pressure and improve your balance.
Here are a few suggestions to help you experience the benefits of walking, without compromising on the activities that are important to you.
Invite Your Friends and Family Out for a Walk
We all love to spend time with our friends and family. Unfortunately, many of the activities that we choose to do with our loved ones are far from healthy. From going to movies to watching Sunday Night Football, more often than not, we find ourselves socializing in front of a big screen.
Why not invite your family out for a walk instead? As I write this article, the spring flowers have started to appear and I am reminded of just how beautiful the outside world is.
Even if you only replace one of your weekly get-togethers with a stroll around the park, you will see significant changes in your health and attitude. Just as important, you will be helping your friends and family to live healthier lives as well.
Listen to Audiobooks While You Walk
Do you read non-fiction books to keep your business skills sharp? Or, do you prefer to get lost in a good mystery novel or sci-fi thriller? Either way, you probably spend most of your reading time sitting in a comfy chair.
Listening to audiobooks, while walking, is one of the easiest and most effective ways to get in shape without impacting your productivity. I’m not a natural walker. It takes energy for me to get moving. But, with a good mystery playing on my iPhone, I can walk for hours without noticing.
I get most of my audiobooks from Audible.com, but, there are free options like Librivox.org, as well.
How many hours a week do you spend reading? 5? 7? Imagine how much healthier you would be if you spend this time walking.
Say Goodbye to Conference Rooms and Embrace Walking Meetings
Meetings are one of the necessary evils of corporate life. If you work on a team, why not abandon your conference room and go for walks instead. As Richard Branson recently said, “When given the opportunity I often like to take things a step further – literally, with a walking meeting. I sometimes even set myself a personal challenge of trying to come up with a plan of attack in the time it takes to walk around the block… five minutes, go!”
Speaking from experience, walking meetings can be a source of guilty pleasure for employees. It’s almost as if we think, “Wait a minute, meetings shouldn’t be fun… I wonder if someone going to call me out for spending time in the sun, rather than in a concrete box.”
Well, if your company knows what’s good for it, it will embrace walking meetings. Not only do they help to keep employees healthier, but, they are also a source of creative ideas, which are more likely to form in a non-structured environment.
When All Else Fails, Get Up Every Hour for a 2 Minute Walk
Our bodies weren’t made for sitting. As a result, when we spend more time on our read ends than our feet, our brains shut down and our productivity suffers. Ironically, taking a 2-5 minute break every hour to stretch and walk around a bit will make you more productive, not less.
So, set an alarm on your phone, use an egg timer (ok, maybe not in the office,) or schedule time in your calendar for walking breaks. Your body and your brain will thank you!
What techniques do you use to walk more without hurting your productivity? Do you use any of the strategies outlined in this article? Please join the conversation and “like” and share this article to keep the discussion going.