For many of us, being back at work has been especially hard this year – and let’s face it: it’s all the weather’s fault. Summer had most of December and all of January to show itself, but it decided to make a gloriously late entrance … right when we’re back in the office and not able to be outside making the most of it.
But rather than getting into a funk about it, there is a way to enjoy the fresh air and sunshine during even the busiest of working weeks. It will also improve psychological wellbeing, burn calories and reduce your chances of cardiovascular disease and type-two diabetes.
Wednesday 8th March is Walk2Work day, so what better time is there to ditch the car keys and dig out your walking shoes. It’s the oldest, safest and one of the most beneficial forms of exercise you can participate in on a daily basis.
It’s free, it’s sustainable and you’ll get fit along the way.
Here’s the most common excuses given for not walking to work and why they’re easily debunked:
I don’t have time – it means I’ll have to get up earlier.
Getting up half an hour earlier in the morning is not that hard. Make it a priority and make time for it in your appointment calendar. If you can make extra time to swing by for that coffee in the morning, you can make time for your health.
Besides, it’s too far.
With the cost of living at the moment, it’s true that not all of us can afford to live within 2-3 kms from our workplace. But you can still walk half or even part of the way by parking the car a little further from the office or getting off at an earlier bus stop.
But it’s too cold in winter / too hot in summer.
The beauty about walking to work on a summery morning is you’re doing so at the coolest part of the day. And in winter, you can pick up the pace a bit, bask in the crisp air and you’ll be warm in no time.
And if it’s raining?
There’s no such thing as bad weather, just inadequate clothing. Invest in a waterproof raincoat or sturdy windproof umbrella. Besides, most central city pavements are covered so you can shorten your walk by taking a bus some of the way if you really need to.
It’s boring, though.
There are plenty of things you can do on your morning walk to keep you engaged and productive. Grab some ear buds and stride it out to Morning Report, motivational music or some of the latest industry-specific podcasts to make the most of your journey. You can also vary your route and monitor your progress with a step-counter to change things up a little.
The health benefits of walking for only 30 minutes a day, 5 times a week:
(statistics from www.everybodywalk.org)
So there you have it. Ditch the keys, grab your walking shoes and make Wednesday 8th March the first day of your new walking commute. For more information and ideas on how to spread the word in your neighborhood, check out Living Streets Aotearoa’s website at livingstreets.org.nz/walk2work.
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