Exercise — Oh no!

Let’s be honest: We all know we should exercise.

But many of us DO NOT enjoy it.

For some, the thought of exercising is so overwhelming that they never get off the couch.

For some people it is unthinkable to walk into a gym. Some feel not fit enough, too overweight, not “gym material,” embarrassed, or shy. Others do not have the extra money every month to spend on a gym membership.

We know we should exercise — yet — we put it off

So… let’s think of it in a different way.

Simply think of walking. We do it all the time. It is easy and and it is incredibly good for us. And best of all — it is FREE and has truly no judgement zone. Just about everyone can walk.

People who walk daily are on average slimmer and in better physical shape.

Not long ago my family and I visited Washington DC. We used public transportation while in the city. I noticed that almost everyone was fairly slim compared to the area we call home. I didn’t think much of it at the time. But I did notice that many people used public transportation to get to work. Dressed in business attire, we’d watch them as they left their homes, walked to the bus or subway and then walked from there to work. In contrast, at home almost everyone travels to work by car.

I also spent a couple of month in Montreal. Interestingly, most people in the city were slimmer than those at home as well, and when I visited New York City … guess what? — Same thing.

What did all these city dwellers have in common?

Most of those we saw were slimmer AND… they walked and used public transport.

We all know it isn’t public transport that makes the difference in their waist size, right? It is without doubt the fact that everyone we saw walked more than the average American.

I am sure they are not saying to themselves “I am going to exercise to work this morning.” But they do exercise — They all walk a good portion every day to get to work.

So really, walking every day can help us shrink our waistline. It gets our heart to pump a little harder and keeps us healthier.

But you don’t need to take public transportation and walk to work to get fit. You could just start walking a bit more than you usually do.

  • Take the steps instead of the elevator
  • Park your car further from the entry to the the grocery store, mall or restaurant.
  • Use the furthest parking spot at the office.
  • Take your dog (if you have one) on a daily walk. It will benefit Fido as well. I found my dog is a great motivator. Who can say no to puppy-dog eyes as they longingly look from the leash to you, and back to the leash?
  • Join a walking group in your area. (Through YMCA, gyms, walking Clubs, Fitbit or other Apps)
  • Talk to a friend or neighbor and see if they will join you on a daily walk. My mother-in-law has the cutest little group of neighborhood ladies walking together, motivating each other daily.

Williamsburg trail bridge Words

For the greatest benefit walk for 30 minutes or more daily, if possible.

Walking:

  • One of the greatest ways to exercise
  • Is FREE
  • Almost everyone is able to participate
  • Gentle on joints
  • Exercises major muscle groups
  • Is an aerobic activity – good for your heart
  • Improves circulation
  • Improves mood
  • Improves blood pressure
  • Improves sleep
  • Helps to lower blood glucose
  • Strengthens bones
  • Can lead to weight loss
  • Good for mental health
  • May lead to a longer and happier life

For further reading about the benefits of walking and tips I recommend:

Mayo Clinic

Arthritis Foundation

Harvard Medical School

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