Tip #14: Walk
If I knew about a little “magic pill” that would help you feel and look younger, reduced the risk of heart disease, improved blood pressure, lowered the risk of obesity and enhanced well-being would you want me to share it with you?
What if this “magic pill” didn’t cost you an extra penny?
Yesterday, I wrote about Tip #13: Exercise and most of the things I listed above were benefits from exercising. However, I also shared that only 20% of the American population exercise regularly.
Did you know that studies show “one” type of exercise works better than any actual “pill” that they have put it up against?
That’s right all you have to do is WALK to get more benefits than any “magic pill”.
As a physical therapist, I often would tell my patients if you don’t use it you will lose it. That includes walking. Want to be able to walk for the rest of your life and do the things you want to do? Walking will get you there.
I could list all the health benefits of walking, but I already did that in Tip #13 and the truth of the matter is you could go read 100 Reasons to Walk if you need a little more convincing. I believe that most people KNOW that they NEED to walk or do some type of exercise daily. My question is WHY are only 20% of Americans doing it? Realistically, the other 80% are full of excuses. I know I am guilty too! So let’s go over the top excuses and find a few solutions.
Top 10 Excuses Not to Walk
Not enough time: The recommended amount of walking per week is 15o minutes or 30 minutes per day five days a week.
- Solution: The average American watches 4.3 hours of TV a day. Turn off the TV and put in your ear buds and walk 30 minutes instead.
To busy: You have work, school, cooking, cleaning, shopping, kids, laundry the list goes on and on. There isn’t enough time to do everything. Studies actually show that Americans are working less per day than they were 10 years ago, yet, we are MORE BUSY.
- Solution: Time management or maybe self management would be a better term. Schedule walking time like you do every other important appointment. You are worth it!
I don’t want to walk alone: One problem people state about walking is being afraid to walk alone.
- Solution: Find a walking partner. Whether it is a family member (bonding time), a neighbor, friend or maybe it’s time to get a dog. Don’t let this excuse stop you from walking. There are walking groups and walking clubs that often gather at local parks and malls. Maybe it’s time to join one.
Weather: It’s to hot, it’s to cold, it’s raining, it’s windy, it’s…
- Solution: You can walk inside a mall. Going to the grocery store anyway walk around the parameter several times before you grab that shopping cart. You might just be surprised how much walking you can get done in your own home. Walk through the whole house several times. Be creative.
I’m to tired: Most people with this excuse are tired because they sit for a living.
- Solution: Getting up and moving will increase the blood circulation and before you know it you have more energy.
I’m sore: My legs hurt, my feet hurt, my …
- Solution: Unless you have an injury, don’t stop walking. Your body is beginning to get stronger and your muscles are getting accustomed to it. A nice epsom salt bath with essential oils or soaking your feet will help relieve some of the soreness.
I’m out of shape: Getting started doesn’t mean you have to walk a mile or a 5k.
- Solution: Start slow. Ten minutes is all you can handle then walk that amount every day for a week. Then add another 10 minute session until you can walk 10 minutes three times a day. Then increase your time to 20 minutes and work your way to 30 minutes.
Unmotivated: I know I need to, but I just can’t make myself do it.
- Solution: Sometimes we need something external to motivate us internally. Maybe a new pair of walking shoes or a new walking outfit. Maybe one of the cool fitness trackers that measures your steps and/or distance. Maybe you are motivated by challenges and you need to sign up for a walking challenge.
Walking is boring: The truth is we Americans are used to being entertained. We watch TV, we get on our computers, smart phones and watch what everyone else is doing. Then we go on a walk and find it boring.
- Solution: Find a beautiful place around a pond, lake or fountain to do your daily walk. If nature is boring to you and you must be entertained, put in your ear buds and listen to a book, podcast or your favorite music. Need more visual input: walk on a treadmill in front of a television and walk during your favorite show.
I just don’t like to exercise: Often, this is just the plain truth. Some people just don’t like to move they prefer to be static.
- Solution: Sometimes we have to do the things we don’t like to live the life we want. Do you want to be able to walk around the store to buy your own groceries? Do you want to walk to the sports field to watch your grandchildren play ball? Do you want to live a life of health and wellness? Then the solution is get up and walk.
Putting It All Together
We know that exercise is part of living a more proactive lifestyle. Walking has been found to be the easiest and most beneficial exercise proven by study after study. What if walking 30 minutes a day prevented you from having a heart attack or stroke? What if walking prevented you from having diabetes or high blood pressure? What if walking daily allowed you to live a long life with those you love?
Making healthy choices like walking daily may not always be easy, but for every excuse we can find a solution. If you are not sure how proactive you are currently living then I invite you to take the Wellness Quiz to find out your Wellness Score.
If you would like to learn more about the “magical pill” of walking I highly recommend our Growing E-Course, we go into more detail about walking and tools to help you meet your exercise goals. If you would like to take part in our Free Growing E-Course click here.
I am enjoying this write 31 days challenge and I hope that you are finding these tips beneficial to living a more proactive lifestyle. There are two other bloggers that I have found doing the #write31days and their blogs are all about walking. Feel free to check them out too. They may just inspire you to go for a walk.
If you would like to learn more tips, click on the box. I will be adding tips daily.
Shawna Cale, Got-Oils? Administrator
I am a M.O.M: Mom on a Mission to help educate and empower other mom’s to build healthy homes and bodies, and have the energy to do the things they enjoy with their families.