All truly great thoughts are conceived by walking. – Friedrich Nietzsche
After gaining a few hard-to-shed pounds last Christmas, I’ve added a lunchtime walk to my daily routine. Starting last January, I walk one mile after lunch. When the weather is lousy, I walk 10 times around the office’s perimeter, which the office manager reports is one mile.
Now that it’s spring, I’ve taken my daily walks outside. Using my Nike+ running app, I’ve measured a mile-long route. It’s a beautiful track with tree-lined sidewalks and water fountains that give me even more motivation to get out there and walk.
Like most forms of exercise, I’m discovering that daily walks are good my mind, body and soul. If you are considering adding a lunchtime walk to your daily routine, here are five welcomed benefits.
- … walking makes my heart stronger. A few years ago I was diagnosed with an atrial septal aneurysm. This was a wake-up call to focus on my heart’s health to reduce the risk of a stroke. My cardiologist wants me to continue with a running program and walk every day to give me heart a little extra pep.
- … walking boosts my vitamin D reserves. Getting out from underneath the fluorescent lights and into the sunlight boosts my body’s supply of vitamin D, which helps to ward off mild depression aggravated by those fluorescent lights.
- … walking is a natural energizer. Walking improves circulation and increases oxygen supply to every cell in my body, helping me to feel more alert and prepared to tackle the rest of the day.
- … walking lowers my anxiety. The opportunity to improve my mood by walking lowers my anxiety. Just a 15-minute walk provides a needed dose of encouragement that helps me work through problems and to see opportunities I might have missed.
- … walking will reduce my chances of diabetes. My father learned he had diabetes when he was in his 60s. With that decade eight years away for me, I’m even more mindful of ways to prevent the disease. Walking after eating lunch is effective because it helps to clear sugar from my blood.
Simple Ways to Start
- Pack your lunch to save time, and money.
- Find a walking buddy and then hold each other accountable.
- Start with walking two days a week and then add a day each week until you are walking Monday through Friday.
- Bring a pair of walking shoes to work.
- Block out time on your calendar. Make walking just as important as other appointments and meetings your schedule
Walking after lunch alone won’t help me achieve all of my heath goals, but at it least it’s something I can do during the work day that helps me take a little more control over my health – both my physical and mental health.