Improve Your Life 2: Go for a Walk
Do you want to have more energy and be more creative?
Go out and walk for 20 to 30 or 40 minutes and you will feel better.
It doesn’t matter if you go to a gym or run every other day. Walking has tremendous health benefits and helps you clear your head.
What is the Minimum Time to Exercise Daily to Keep Healthy?
We are all busy and the minimum time to exercise daily will help us be healthy and spend as little time on it as possible? Get 20 minutes of exercise every day. 20 minutes can be just walking at a fast pace. Running for 20 minutes can be hard for beginners. Walk 10-12 minutes and go as far as you can then head back. Run or jog some of the distance. The important part is how long you keep going, not how far you go.
20 minutes is the minimum daily exercise but I would suggest 30-40 minutes. However, don’t overdo it. Fast walking, easy jog, no panting, walk if you need rest.
If you haven’t moved a muscle in 10 years start with 10-minute walks. Add just one minute every day, and you will get to 40-minute walks by the end of the month. Make it your 30-day challenge.
During your workday when you feel that you are stuck or just tired go out and walk a little bit. After walking you will have more energy, fresh ideas, and generally feel better. If you create a habit out of walking, you will reap long-lasting health benefits which include:
- reduced the risk of heart disease by 9.3%
- the risk of high blood pressure reduced by 7.2%
- high cholesterol risk lowered by 7%
- risk of diabetes reduced by 12%
These benefits are higher than the number you would get from the same level of running. Walking is preferable to running also in that it does not make you sweat. You don’t have to waste time getting into the running outfit and showering after the exercise. However, I suggest that if possible wear running shoes to make your walks more comfortable. When you get more experience, then you can start doing crazy things like using running sandals.
The weather might be a problem. High wind and rain may make walking a bit less enjoyable, but if you have the appropriate clothing, this will not keep you indoors.
There’s no such thing as bad weather, only unsuitable clothing. ― Alfred Wainwright
You don’t need a destination or a path to follow. Just walk 10 to 15 minutes in any direction and then just turn around and retrace your steps.
Watch this video for more detail: 23 and 1/2 hours: What is the single best thing we can do for our health?
In this video the doctor answers the old question “What is the single best thing we can do for our health” in a completely new way. Dr. Mike Evans is the founder of the Health Design Lab at the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute, an Associate Professor of Family Medicine and Public Health at the University of Toronto, and a staff physician at St. Michael’s Hospital.
Here are some ideas when to go for a walk
Going out just for a walk is a great idea similar to meditating. But you can combine walking with other activities. Here are some examples what you can do:
Walk when you are sleepy
Drink a cup of coffee or bring it with you and go for a 20-minute walk. Caffeine will kick in after about 20 to 40 minutes. You will get the invigorating boost from walking combined with the effects of caffeine.
Walk when you are angry
There is probably no better way to let off steam than go for a long walk. When emotions flare up, and you feel that the situation is not going in the right direction, take some time off and go for a walk. You can cool down and consider the point of view of the other side and think it through.
Walk when you need to think
Humans are walking animals. In our hunting and gathering days, our brains learned to be alert while we were moving. There may be threats, food, or mating opportunities. Use walking to boost your thinking and when you need to find new ideas or solutions to difficult problems.
Walking is the best possible exercise. Habituate yourself to walk very far. – Thomas Jefferson
Walk when you need to discuss something
Thinking is something you do alone, but you can ask others to walk with you to discuss the issues you may have at work. Some teams and companies have walking meetings to be more creative.
Walk when traveling
You are traveling in a new location. Don’t take taxis or other transportation to explore the surroundings. Plan a walking tour using Google Maps. Walk, rest, eat for hours to get the feeling of the location you are visiting.
Walk when you take a break
The most effective breaks happen when you disconnect and move around outside with friends or colleagues. Try to be fully detached and be in the nature or at least a park. If you don’t have a park nearby the walking on a city street is still better than no walking.
Walk with your loved ones
Go out for a walk with your family and friends. If possible walk your kids to school or kindergarten. Take a few hours on the weekend and go to a nearby park. Or better yet, go to nature, hike the mountains or forests, whatever you like best.
In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks. – John Muir
Walking is human. We have done it for hundreds of thousands of years. There’s no reason to stop now. Try to find a least 20 minutes every day and go for a walk. Daily walking habit will improve your life tremendously.
Now get off the internet and go out! Oh… Wait… Before you go sign up for our daily tips.
The Scientific 7-Minute Workout
But what if you don’t want to leave your apartment? Maybe it’s raining, or there’s a blizzard outside. Here’s the 7-minute exercise that’s not fun, but effective.
The exercises should be performed in rapid succession, allowing 30 seconds for each, while, throughout, the intensity hovers at about an 8 on a discomfort scale of 1 to 10, Mr. Jordan says. Those seven minutes should be, in a word, unpleasant. The upside is, after seven minutes, you’re done.
- Original study: Walking Versus Running for Hypertension, Cholesterol, and Diabetes Mellitus Risk Reduction
- Guardian article: Brisk walk healthier than running – scientists
Do you want to get your fitness level on track? Willpower books let you get more willpower. Dig into our list of books. Find out how willpower works and motivate yourself not to fall back to old ways.
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