I’ve drilled the need to walk into your head by now, right? The evidence is so clear that even the mainstream media tells us to walk! Get your 10k steps!
10k steps isn’t always easy.
I try. You try. We all try. But sometimes we just don’t have it in us at the end of a long day to makeup the last four, five, or six thousand steps. Ugh… Luckily for us, it’s not just walking more that’s important.
I’ve written before about the health benefits of even easy walking for just five minutes every thirty minutes. Yes, walking more often might be even more important than focusing on more and more steps. Isn’t that good news?
Yes, just 5 minutes of walking every 30 minutes is all it takes to dramatically improve your health!
Walking (any walking) for just 5 minutes every 30 minutes has been found to reduce blood sugar levels by 20%, increase insulin sensitivity by 20%, and increase the thermic effect of the meals you eat! That’s a lot for just taking a 5 minute walk here and there, right?
Here are ten ways to walk more often, even when you can’t always walk more.
10 Simple Ways to Walk More Often
- Walking and shopping – Not everyone can walk to the grocery store, but most of us can find a parking area that’s central to the places we shop, walk around, and then use the car as a base. Drop off your bags when they get too heavy, grab a cup of coffee, talk, walk, and shop some more.
- Walk after meals – A short walk after a meal also increases your insulin sensitivity, so there’s no better time to take even a short walk. How short? 15 minutes is ideal, but you’ve already seen the power of a 5 minute walk, right?
- Walk to lunch – Is there a lunch spot just a short walk away? What about parking and walking to lunch? The added bonus here is that walking to lunch means you’re also walking back, so you hit the ‘walk after meals’ category, too!
- Set a timer for 25 minutes and walk 5 – I like 25 and 5 better than 30 and 5 because it means I can do the easy math and get two full breaks in every hour!
- Drink more water – more water means more trips to the toilet, plus everyone ‘knows’ water means weight loss. 😉
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- Walking coffee – whether it’s a coffee break or meeting a friend for coffee, there’s no reason you have to drink it sitting down. Take a walk!
- Walking meetings – Meetings often need paper, whiteboards, and computers, but why not start the meeting with a short walk to discuss the agenda and plan your meeting better? Grab a water or coffee, talk, plan, and then head back for a solid meeting where you can knock the rest out (hopefully using 25/5)!
- Find easy parking – Stop driving around looking for a good spot to park. The best spots are a five minute walk to work, the restaurant, or your event! Bonus points for avoiding the crowd when everyone leaves the concert at the same time and you’re not even in the lot!
- Shop fresh – When you shop you walk, and it all adds up. When I shop for groceries, I take 1000-3000 steps, whether I get 5 things or 50, so when I shop 3-4 times per week instead of 1 time, I not only get up to 10k steps more per week, but also get fresher food and waste less!
- Don’t use the drive through – Unless you have four kids to load and unload, just park the car and go in! Driving is sitting, and we all know sitting for long periods is bad, so take every opportunity to get out and walk, even if it’s just for five minutes!
No one can do all of these, but you can probably find a few that you can fit into your life. We all shop, we all eat, and we all want to feel better, don’t we?
5 minutes doesn’t seem like a lot, but these things add up. 5 minutes here and 5 minutes there and you’re well on your way to better health, fast!