New Year’s is coming up, and you know what that means: New Year’s resolutions. Getting more organized and trying new things are old classics, but one resolution that appears on almost everyone’s list over and over again is health, usually in the form of exercising to lose weight.
With the obesity epidemic sweeping the nation, it’s plain to see why this is so. According to Bradley University, over a third of the adult population and about 13 million children in the United States are considered to be obese. Now more than ever, people are realizing how important their health is and are committed to making the right changes in their lives.
However, not everyone necessarily has the time to do so. Exercising and going to the gym can take a good chunk of time that many of us don’t have. There is one type of exercise, though, that requires no equipment and is already part of nearly everyone’s routine: walking.
Walking not only lowers your blood pressure, relieves stress, and replenishes your energy levels, it also helps you lose weight. So instead of promising yourself to spend hours in the gym this upcoming year, incorporate this underappreciated exercise instead.
Wear Your Heart Health on Your Sleeve
If something is easy to do, chances are you’re more likely to do it. This applies to many things—exercising especially so. The more equipment and travel needed to partake in an exercise, the less likely you will do it.
Walking addresses many of these problems since the only thing you need are your legs (though it doesn’t hurt to have a good pair of walking shoes), and it can be done in any location. However, the healthcare industry is trying to make walking even easier by providing technology to encourage these healthy behaviors.
The advent of wearable technology and wellness apps make it easier for individuals to track their progress and pinpoint areas of improvement. Fitness bands and smartwatches make it effortless to stay motivated as well by tracking your steps and connecting you to a wider community of likeminded people.
The spirit of competition is a great motivator in improving your health, as health apps challenge you to beat the best scores of other users well as beating your own past performances. These apps also give you a tangible way to see if all your walking is actually doing your body any good by monitoring your heart rate and how well you sleep.
Choose a Career That Gets You Walking
Perhaps a change in career should be included in your New Year’s resolutions too. Choosing a job is one of the most important decisions you can make, not only for your finances but also for your health.
Some professions require you to adopt a more sedentary lifestyle, making it harder for you to meet your walking goals. If you’re at a place in your life and career to make a change, here are a few professions to consider that’ll up your pedometer count:
- Postal Work: Delivering people’s mail and packages on foot is an excellent career to facilitate more walking in your everyday life. You can choose to walk as fast or slow as you like to give yourself more of a challenge or not — though you may need to run if a dog gets loose!
- Landscaping: Landscaping, by its nature, is a physical job. Frequent squatting, pulling, and digging will keep your body in tiptop shape. No matter how large or small the property you’ll be landscaping is, you’ll be sure to get enough steps in.
- Firefighting: Just training to be a firefighter is enough to reach your walking goals. Cross-training is a must with this profession, and running up over 30 flights of stairs is a regular practice in firefighting workouts. You’ll definitely reach your walking goals in a span of a few short hours, if even that.
Extra Tips That Go the Extra Mile
If wearable tech and a career change are not in your cards (or if you just want to fit even more walking in), there are plenty of other ways to sneak in more walking into your busy schedule. Here are a few to keep in mind:
- When you arrive early to appointments or are waiting for a child’s practice to be over, don’t take a load off; take a walk instead until it’s time for you to go.
- Find a walking buddy or group to make walking more enjoyable and to have someone to hold you accountable.
- Don’t use your whole lunch time at work to sit at your desk. Try squeezing in a brisk walk to break up long hours of sitting.
- Instead of driving to multiple locales when running errands, find a place to park somewhere in the middle of the stores you need to go to and walk to the them.
- If commuting to work on foot is not possible, walk part of the way by parking your car a distance you feel comfortable with away from your office.
Not many people have time to exercise, but everyone has time to walk. Wearable tech can make it easier and more fun to keep up with walking goals, and a career change to a more active profession can make those goals even more attainable.
With all the different ways you can fit more walking into your life, there’s really no reason why you shouldn’t put on your walking shoes and get going. By incorporating these tips into your schedule, you’ll be taking the necessary steps to walk into the new year healthier than ever!