Recently, I was bemoaning the fact that I couldn’t find enough time to exercise. I work a lot (and often use work as an excuse not to work out. Sound familiar?) and commute by train 40 minutes each day. In response to my whining, a colleague made a very simple suggestion: why not get off the metro one stop early and walk the remainder of the way to the office? Doing the same thing on the way home would get me very close to the goal of 10,000 steps per day.
Today is National Walking Day, and it has me considering the many virtues of this activity. Walking is such a simple fitness solution. So simple, in fact, that most of us overlook it. But the reality is we can’t afford to overlook any possible offset to the obesity epidemic. It’s no secret that obesity contributes to and even leads to disease. And those of us working at office jobs are at significant risk. As noted in a recent Washington Post article, “People plopped on their behinds for eight to 11 hours daily had about a 15 percent increase in risk of death.” This fuels the notion that walking during the day isn’t just a suggestion for better health, it’s a necessity.
I am a sucker for all the fitness fads – from the Tracy Anderson Method to Insanity to Zumba – if it’s new, I have to know if it’s a silver bullet to getting in shape. I have trouble even counting the number of gyms of which I have been a member over the years. Estimating the amount of dollars wasted is downright depressing. Apparently, a monthly payment doesn’t necessarily equate to assured workouts – at least not for me. And I don’t think I am alone in allowing all manner of things to get in the way of exercising. It’s easy for me to feel overwhelmed when contemplating having to get to the gym, get changed and get on the treadmill. It just feels like too many steps (no pun intended).