National Walk to Work Day is April 6 this year.
While we all know that incorporating regular exercise is essential for overall health and wellness, most of us haven’t ever seriously thought about trading in our daily car commute for human-powered transportation.
But consider this: with the stressors, deadlines and daily to-do’s of everyday life, a walk to work may be just what you need to be your best self.
Need more convincing? Read on for inspiration and tips to make walking to work a reality, on National Walk to Work Day and beyond.
The Benefits of Walking to Work
Americans spend up to 90% of their workday sitting. And while a recent study has suggested we shouldn’t necessarily be equating sitting with the health detriments of smoking, the evidence is clear that regular cardiovascular exercise, like walking, is a key factor for longevity.
Aside from the physical benefits, a daily walk commute can play a significant role in your emotional well-being too:
- Walking outdoors puts mind in a zen-like state. (Know what does the opposite? Sitting in traffic.)
- Walking can stimulate creative thinking.
- Immediately after aerobic exercise, your brain’s cognitive function and memory recall is at its best. (So be sure to tackle that very important work task first thing.)
- One of the best ways to increase your body’s level of Vitamin D is to spend time outdoors. A recent study reports Vitamin D deficiency is widespread in US adults, and it can be tied to a number of health conditions, including depression.
Live too far from the office? Incorporate walking into your workday.
Okay, let’s get real. We know that for some, a walking commute to and from work is simply not feasible. But, don’t let that stop you from getting in your daily steps. If you can’t hoof it to work, find other ways to incorporate walking into your workday:
- Walk and talk. That recurring weekly meeting with your co-worker or manager? Be like Mark Zuckerberg or Steve Jobs and take it outside.
- Speaking of recurring appointments, schedule one with yourself. Add a 15-minute midday walk to your daily calendar and honor that appointment like it’s an important meeting. Because it is.
- Lunch on the go. Don’t you dare get stuck eating at your desk. Take a brisk walk to a nearby park or green space and eat your lunch in the great outdoors.
- Break up your commute. Combine your walk commute with public transportation or mass transit. Or, walk one way to work and coordinate with your colleagues to ride-share the commute home.
Your most comfortable walk ever
A must-do for your walk commute: be nice to your feet.
Either choose footwear with built-in shape designed to support your feet, or be sure to put the gentle orthotic shape of Superfeet insoles in all your footwear, even your work shoes.
Superfeet EVERYDAY Insoles are designed especially for your everyday casual and business shoes (say goodbye to carrying a spare pair of shoes in your bag).
Equip your walk
Other essentials to make your walk commute the best it can be:
- Commuter bag | Look for either a messenger bag or backpack large enough to hold your stuff, but small enough that carrying it doesn’t become a burden. We like this one from Everlane.
- Hydration | Just as important on your walk as it is on your run or workout. A travel water bottle or insulated coffee cup will keep you feeling great.
- Fitness tracker or smart watch | Stay in touch and keep track of those miles you’re logging each day. (Bragging-rights bonus: you can show your co-workers that you’ve hit well over 10,000 steps before 9 am.)
While National Walk to Work Day comes around just once a year, it’s a fantastic way to kick start a plan to put more steps in your Spring.
At the very least, incorporating more movement into your workday is sure to put more spring in your steps.