Almost every day for the last 15 months I have walked during my lunch hour. Rain or shine, bad day or good, I am out there walking the 3.5 mile loop around my office. And why do I do this absolutely exhausting walk in the middle of the day? The benefits are kind of endless.
My health is extremely important to me, something that came to the forefront of my mind when I weighed myself in July 2018 and realized I was nearly 80 pounds heavier than I had been in high school. And I was only 23! I made my health a priority – and not just for vanity reasons, but to carry me through life so I can experience anything and everything with no limitations. That weight was keeping me from my full potential.
Aerobic exercise – like walking – for at least 1.5 hours a week has been shown to reduce heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. I challenged myself to walk for 45-60 minutes a day – something very hard when you’re starting out – and stuck with it. Put some headphones in, find a good pace, and just keep going! In a short amount of time I felt myself adjusting, so I started upping my pace. And when my 3.5 mile walk went from being nearly 70 minutes to 55, that’s when I knew that progress doesn’t happen overnight, it happens in slow doses that build up to a complete miracle.
Maintain a healthy weight
Prevent cardiovascular disease, stroke, and diabetes
Improve mood – especially outside where you can get Vitamin D
Improve coordination and balance
So, 15 months later, where am I? I’m walking at 15 minutes a mile (I used to run/walk one in 20), I’ve lost over half the weight I gained, my legs and arms are strong, I have better focus in the afternoons, and I feel less stressed during the work day. And all of this happened just by walking outside for ONE hour EVERY day. That’s only 365 hours in an entire year. The screen time on your phone is more than that.
I was the kid who hated outdoor activity – playing soccer was a borderline joke to me. And now if I’m not out getting my walk in I feel like a cooped up animal! Finding a regular exercise routine that can be varied yet consistent is so important to our lifelong health, and walking is such an easy, free way to accomplish that. So why not take a walk today?