This year, my adventure vacation was walking the Camino in Spain. To prepare myself physically and mentally I had to find creative ways to fit more walking into my already busy life. Walking the Camino requires stamina and I wanted to be prepared to walk 12 miles a day for a week.
Turns out, it was easier than I thought. Movement has many benefits to include boosting creativity and clarity, bringing more oxygen to your brain, activating endorphins, and increasing productivity. While increasing my daily walks from 6 miles to 8-10 a day, I found myself solving problems with less effort. I started to crave additional walks and would turn to a walk more often to solve a problem rather than calling someone to talk it through.
Often, we are challenged with fitting moving or walking into our workdays, but there are many ways to get your steps in.
I add steps by walking or moving during situations or events that are traditionally done sitting or standing in one place. Here are my best tips:
- Walk around sporting events. Instead of standing on the sidelines to watch my children play sports, I walk around the field. Not only does this help me to get my steps in, but I get to see the game from different perspectives.
- Schedule walk and talk meetings. I schedule “walk and talks” with co-workers, friends, and family. If no one is available to actually walk with me, and I am talking with a team member that will not mind, I will still do the walk and talk. This helps me to eliminate unnecessary sitting time, add steps, and clear my mind.
- Move each hour. Every hour, I take a 5-minute moving break whether I am working or writing. I add high knees or do jumping jacks for extra oomph. All of those 5-minute breaks add up!
- Take the stairs. I resist the urge to take the elevator or escalator and use the stairs whenever possible.
- Rock star parking. Well, not really…. I choose a parking spot further away from my destination to get some extra steps in.
- Airport downtime. Instead of sitting and waiting to board the plane, I use the time to take a brisk walk through the terminal.
- Screen time. I watch most of my shows on Netflix, therefore my screen time was used on the treadmill while watching one of my favorite cooking shows on my phone via the Netflix app.
It has been said that walking is the antidote to many physical and emotional ailments. Walking can clear the air and release strong emotions like anger. Walking meditations are stress-reducing, mood-elevating, and stimulate creative ideas.
These are just a few reasons why we encourage all of our employees to add walking to their day. Fun, competitive wellness challenges get our team moving with points awarded for exercise and triple points for trying something new. Creating awareness and point motivation is all that is needed to take the first step. One team member walked up and down a pier gangplank during low tide for extra points and another used their airport waiting time to get their walk-in for the day.
If you would like to walk the talk and get yourself or your team moving in a forward direction, I would love to schedule a walk and talk with you.