It’s not always easy to stay in shape. Between family, school and work responsibilities, it can be difficult to squeeze in time to workout. Luckily, walks are a convenient and easy way to stay physically and mentally healthy.
Whether you want to lose a little weight or improve your mood, we’ve outlined some creative ways to take more steps each day. This way you can stay active and sharp, even on a busy schedule.
The Health Benefits of Walking
Walking is an underrated method of exercise that keeps your blood flowing and your brain sharp. Whether you walk for a couple of hours a day or even just 30 minutes, you can start seeing a wide array of benefits that improve multiple aspects of your life.
Some of the main benefits of walking include:
Improved Heart Health
Research suggests that walking just 30 minutes a day for five days a week can reduce your coronary heart disease risk by approximately 19 percent. Walk more than that and you could see even greater heart health benefits.
Increased Energy Levels
When you lace up your running shoes and get your body moving, you’ll find that you feel more energized. In fact, studies have shown that brief sessions of stair walking can energize you more than 50 mg of caffeine. This means that by walking you can keep yourself stimulated without the crash that’s associated with drinking coffee or energy drinks.
Boost Your Mood
When you’re feeling down and need a pick-me-up, walking is a great solution. Studies show that walking for 15 to 30 minutes helps reduce feelings of anxiety and depression. So if you’re feeling stressed or overwhelmed at work, for example, then you could use your lunch break to rack up some extra steps and improve your mood.
Tips to Help You Take More Steps Each Day
The best part about walking is that it’s convenient and easy. You don’t have to walk until your legs are sore or rearrange your entire schedule to make time for it. Instead, you can integrate walking into your daily activities or in your spare time. Check out these creative ways to walk more each day:
Park Further From Work
Parking your car a reasonable distance away from work is an easy way to rack up more steps. This can give you an opportunity to take a breath and ease your mind before the start of a work day.
Listen to Podcasts
Sometimes walks can feel boring or unproductive. If you normally listen to podcasts or audiobooks, however, you can stay entertained and learn more while you move. Challenge yourself to walk the entire duration of a podcast for an extra challenge. Maybe you decide to work your way up to longer and longer episodes as your body adjusts to the practice.
Pace During Commercials
When you’re watching TV, get up and pace between commercial breaks. This is a fun way to avoid advertisements while getting in shape. If you enjoy the blood flow, you may even work up to doing push-ups or sit-ups during commercials.
When you have a busy lifestyle, it can be difficult to make time to get fit. With walking, however, you can live a healthier and happier life with little time commitment.
Remember, it’s less important to overexert yourself and more important to make walking a consistent part of your routine. Even if you walk for five minutes a day, that’s a step in the right direction.
For more creative ways to take more steps each day, check out the infographic below.