It’s midday. You’re hungry and tired. Should you grab something to eat and crash in the break room? Or should you try to fit in some exercise? Explore that second option and get out and go for a walk at lunch!
The Benefits of Walking at Lunch
- Log Your Exercise
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), adults should get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise each week. This may sound overwhelming, but guess what? Brisk walking counts. If your walked for 15 minutes every workday, you’d be halfway to your goal. Whereas if you walked for 30 minutes, you’d hit this number during the workweek.
- Live Healthier
The health benefits of walking are well documented. Walking can burn calories, strengthen your heart, lower your blood sugar, ease joint pain and boost your immune system. Not to mention, if you’re sitting or standing at a workspace for most of the day, walking is a fantastic way to stretch you muscles and increase your range of motion. 12
- Improve Your Productivity
A recent study showed people who went for a lunchtime walk reported feeling “considerably more enthusiastic, less tense, and generally more relaxed and able to cope.” While other research suggests walking outdoors increases creative thinking. And being more positive and innovative will help you to get more done.
How to Plan Your Lunchtime Walk
- Map Out a Route
You don’t want to find yourself a mile away from your workplace at the end of your lunch break, so set your route in advance. You could walk at a neighborhood park or simply loop around the block a few times. If the weather is uncooperative, consider walking on a treadmill at a nearby gym or simply climbing the stairs in your office building.
- Bring the Right Gear
Walking a mile in dress shoes or high heels probably won’t be a pleasant experience. So, remember to throw your tennis shoes into your bag. Also, you may need a jacket, boots, sunglasses or rain gear depending upon the weather conditions.
- Pack a Lunch
Going out to lunch or standing in line to buy food will cut into your walking time. Therefore, have your pre-packed lunch ready to go. You can choose to eat either before or after you walk. Of course, try to stick to healthier options to boost your energy levels even further. Think fruit, veggies and whole grains versus a hot dog and fries.
- Recruit a Walking Team
Although some people prefer to walk alone, a walking buddy (or buddies) can build camaraderie. Plus, on those days where you feel a little less motivated, your walking team will encourage you to stick to your schedule. After all, it’s harder to make excuses when you have other people waiting for you.
Are You Searching for More Ways to Improve Your Workplace Health?
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