Readers will remember last year I wrote a post about walking to work. Well, obviously as winter arrived, it got colder and I was unable to regularly walk to work. Come spring, I walked on and off, and then summer hit, making it unbearably hot and impossible to walk. To be honest, the problem was not so much the heat, but more so the resulting perspiration. I don’t think anyone would appreciate having to sit next to or work with someone stinking of dried sweat.
In any case, fall arrived a few weeks ago and things started to cool down. A colleague at work struck up a conversation about how she walks to work every day and loves it, and I should too. She sold me on the exact same benefits I blogged about last year, and I started walking to work again.
I have to say- I couldn’t be happier. The total travel time from door to door is exactly the same whether I drive, or walk. Walking to and from work every day with my music playing and not a thought on my mind is the most peaceful time of the day. It allows me to disconnect from everything and just enjoy being in the moment. The Honey Bee calls it my “me time”. Sometimes I am more pumped, and walk faster. Other times I am tired or more relaxed, and walk slower. But no matter what, I am glad to be walking.
I also find myself calmer, more patient, attentive, and generally in an overall good mood more often. When I reach work, I am now fully awake and attentive, roaring to go. When I get home I am no longer lethargic, and don’t want to just sit on the couch and watch TV (or at least not as much as before). I honestly feel better about being myself.
Apart from the additional savings on fuel and reduced car maintenance, walking is really environmentally friendly and comes with tons on health benefits. Humans have evolved over millions of years to walk- not just sit around or drive everywhere. Co-incidentally, I was reading an article on the rising expenditure on healthcare and how less active and deteriorating lifestyles are one of the main culprits. We are all eating larger portions of less healthier foods, and spending more time sitting down or driving around. All research points to the tremendous benefits that physical fitness and activity can bring, including alleviating some of those costs. A study by Harvard University concluded that walking 2.5 hours a week (21 minutes a day) helps reduce the risk of heart disease by 30%.
I have also started to wear a fitness tracker to guilt myself into being more physically active and I am happy to report it is working. If you already have one, you know exactly what I’m talking about. Seeing in numbers the fact that you’re not active enough is a surefire way to push yourself to move more. If you don’t already have one, I’d strongly recommend you look into getting one, especially if you’re in desk job that involves working at a computer.
The infographic below from the CDC on diabetes is a real eye opener and really struck home. I thought I’d share it here to spread awareness.