Healthy Monday is a public health initiative founded in 2005 in association with Johns Hopkins University, Columbia University, and Syracuse University. HM’s goal is to end chronic preventable disease in the U.S. by offering people and organizations a weekly prompt to start and sustain healthy behaviors, intentions, actions and initiatives. For most Americans, the week begins on Monday. Studies suggest we are more likely to maintain behaviors begun on Monday throughout the week. That makes Monday the perfect day to make a change for your health and the health of our planet.
I mentioned yesterday that I quit the gym and got tons of great responses. In keeping with the “quit the gym” and “fit for free” theme, today’s Healthy Monday Tip is…
Walk for Exercise!
I wrote about this once before (walking for health). Walking is something that you can add in to your daily routine no matter what – no matter how old you are, how fit you are, where you live, or how much time you have. I am a 24 years old, I work full time, I’m moderately fit, and I live in New York – and I walk every day.
How to Fit in a Daily Walk
- Walk to work.
- Walk home from work.
- Take a 20 minute walk in the morning before your morning routine.
- Take a 20 minute walk after lunch and/or dinner.
- Have a date-walk with your significant other and chat about life instead of plopping on the couch to watch TV.
- Go to the park and walk around with a camera; take pictures of pretty flowers.
- Walk around your city or town and check out all the Christmas decorations.
- Go window shopping (might be a good idea to leave the wallet home).
Why You Should Walk
- It’s heart-healthy (apparently so is a 3/4 cup serving of oatmeal).
- It’s good for your brain – as we get older our brains shrink… but the shrinkage is less for people who walk more. (I’m not kidding.)
- It puts you in a good mood and fights depression.
- It’s good for your bones (weight-bearing activity).
- Walking a mile requires the same amount of “work” as running a mile. So why run if you can walk?
How to Walk?
- Make sure you have proper posture. Stand tall as you walk; don’t lock your knees. Think of how monkeys walk (but don’t overdo it that much or else you will look like a goof).
- Walk with your arms, too. It’ll increase the exertion.
- Short and fast steps are good if you want to get your heart rate up, but…
- Slow and steady steps are good too. Just get moving.
That’s all for today’s Healthy Monday. I’m off to… walk to work.