Just 15 minutes of walking each day sounds easy doesn't it?
As some of you may know, I have recently returned from walking the South Downs Way. On the last four days I was joined by Jason Perry who is a good friend of mine. We are not just walking friends, we are also Apple Watch buddies and I don't know anyone else who is as competitive as I am with exception to Jason.
When he first got his watch it raised my competitive edge to a new level and he simply could not keep up with me. Once I had beaten him down, the real Julia revealed herself and this "real life" pattern of activity was not the best! We were sitting in a pub on the South Downs Way when Jason turned to me and said "I have no idea how you can do such little activity on certain days". He had witnessed my regular 800 steps a day, or my 0.37 miles (which was probably walking from my office to the kitchen and back). I started making excuses about being in a car all day, or perhaps I had meeting after meeting and it was impossible to get any activity done, but there was no doubt about it, if I I didn't have a walk to lead, then I was a bit of a lazy so and so!
And it continues. On the right you will see my exercise for last week. I had great days on Monday, Wednesday and Saturday (averaging over 10 miles or 25k steps), but then in-between my overall activity was minimal.
There, I said it!
This blog does not have a happy ending. I still have to motivate myself to get out and about, but once I am out walking, I love it! So the real question is why is it such an effort?
Everyone is aware of the countless benefits from regular exercise and the amazing effects it can have on our mental, emotional, and physical health.
So, this blog is a message to myself, to remind me of all the extra benefits of going for a walk for at least 15 mins each day.
#1 - Walking produces creativity
Every time I go for a walk, even if it is around the block, I always come back with a new business idea or a new system that will make my life easier. Whilst walking I often solve problems that are happening in the business or my personal life.
#2 - Walking always puts me in a good mood
If I am feeling a little lethargic then watching videos on YouTube will not help! We all have days when we are feeling a bit blue, or grumpiness oozes out of every pore. Don't take it out on your family, just go for a walk. Even if it is raining, your mood will lift and you will be a much nicer person once you have returned!
#3 - Walking is healthy for the body!
All I need to do is to look at the little muffin top that is developing around my waist and I grab my walking shoes. You may not be aware of the other health benefits, so let me enlighten you. Did you know that a daily walk can..
- Lower the risk of diabetes
- Lower the risk of Alzheimers disease
- Reduce high blood pressure
- Help with digestion
- Enhance bone health
- Reduce pain and enhance mobility
- Improve cognitive performance
You must be super fit? er... No!
I have heard those words time and time again over the last few months and it is simply not true. My social media presence must give the impression that I am out and about all day every day and now you know the truth. Don't get me wrong, I do walk a lot, and I get a lot of satisfaction for completing long distance trails, but it is the in-between parts that let me down.
So, here are a few ideas so that I can accomplish at least 10k steps a day.
- Always take the stairs and never use the lift!
- Park in the far corner of the car park when out shopping.
- Walk with my daughter to work (1.5 miles), rather than taking the car.
- Walk the dog, even if she is not in the mood!
- If taking a phone call, then walk and talk! I never use a house phone now-a-days, so I have no excuse.
- Never listen to an audiobook or a podcast unless I am walking.
- Get into the habit of saying "Alexa, play Flashdance" and have a boogie around the kitchen for the whole song!
- Walk to my office aka: Starbucks (2 miles away) - do not be tempted to drive!
- Hoover the house! My hubby will like this one, but if I hoovered up a bit more often then I can easily get my steps in!
- Wash my car! I was amazed how much activity there was involved once I had washed my car.
- Empty the dishwasher one plate at a time. This is one that does drive me a bit mad, but I will give it a go every now and then.
Do you have any ideas?
What type of activities do you complete so that you keep active? If you can add to my list above then I would welcome your comments. Do you struggle with motivation at times?
I feel a bit more motivated just by writing this article. In fact, I think I will reward myself by having a dance around the kitchen... Alexa, play....