The benefits of taking a walk during your daily lunch break

It’s arguably the number one excuse for people who don’t work out: “I don’t have time.”

Sure you do. From birth, we’re all given the same amount of time each and every day – 24 hours. You’re just spending it doing other things, and guess what? That’s okay. Believe it or not, exercising is not seen as a top priority in everyone’s minds. Moving your body, on the other hand, should – no, no, NEEDS – to be an essential component of your day. Yes, there is a difference between the two, so let me explain.

Exercising is devoting a certain amount of time to making yourself more fit. Everyone has time to exercise, but some would rather spend it at work, with their families, watching television, etc. Again, this is fine. However, moving is something that our bodies are simply meant to do.

Think about it – we haven’t had televisions or couches or cars for more than, at max, a few hundred years. Humans, meanwhile, have been on this earth for hundreds of generations. That’s THOUSANDS of years. Moving is part of what makes us, well, us.

Up until a few years ago, we were constantly in motion. We had to be in order to survive. Our present society has absolutely transformed us into something entirely different from what we once were. Technology and white-collar work have made people overly sedentary, and thus we’ve seen alarming rises in chronic illness and obesity that just keep getting worse. So, if you don’t like to exercise – or don’t feel like you “have the time” to do it – how can you ensure that you’re at least moving enough to remain in a healthy state of being?

Simple: take a daily walk at work.

There really are no excuses not to do this at least a few times every week. I don’t care if it’s below freezing or 100 degrees outside. The only time you shouldn’t be walking is if it’s pouring down rain in the middle of a hurricane, and even then you could use an umbrella (I’m kidding… sort of).

I mean, what are you going to do instead? Grab some fast food with co-workers you’re going to spend the next few hours with anyway? If you’re trying to hang out with your friends, ask them if they want to go on a walk with you; you’ll be surprised by how many of them say yes!

Should you decide to opt for a walk instead of eating out at lunch, know you’ll be killing three birds with one stone:

  1. You’ll be saving money by packing a lunch rather than eating out.
  2. Your body will most likely be ingesting healthier foods, which will not only save your figure but could also give you a mental boost.
  3. You’ll get in your daily exercise without even trying.

Even if it is only for 10 minutes, something is better than nothing. The benefits of taking a break to walk are overwhelming:

  • Studies have shown that walking throughout the day can have a positive effect on one’s mood, and who doesn’t want to be happier when they’re sitting at work?
  • Reports show that active employees take 27 percent less sick days than non-active workers, further proving that there is certainly a correlation between walking and physical/mental health.
  • Walking can help you improve balance and coordination, which is essential as you age. This makes sense, too – you’re technically balancing every time you take a step, so doing it more often should helps you improve those skills.
  • Blood circulation in your legs will greatly improve, and you’ll reduce your risk for disease and even varicose veins as a result.
  • You’ll lengthen your hips, which can reduce pain in your legs and lower back.

There are so many benefits to taking a daily walk, especially if you don’t exercise regularly. It only takes a few minutes, it gives you a moment to take in some fresh air and enjoy mother nature, and – perhaps most enticingly of all – it lets you take a break from the daily struggles that present themselves within the office.

What are you doing still reading this? Get out there and start walking!

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