In today’s society, it is not uncommon for people to sit for many hours at a time. From commuting to the office, then sitting at a desk at work, and once again commuting home, most people tend to sit for up to 8-10 hours every day. Additionally, people often continue to sit when they get home in order to “relax and unwind” as they watch TV, play video games, or connect with their loved ones.
While down-time is necessary for us to thrive in a high-stress world, we have to understand that sitting for too long leads to a lack of overall movement (calorie burn) and that we need to do more than just hit the gym for an hour and expect results in the form of fat-loss. Although, it can be beneficial to participate in a HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training) strength training, spin class, or even a long run throughout the week, what many people don’t realize is that by simply walking more throughout the day, they can greatly increase calorie burn and decrease stress levels, which are key factors when it comes to fat-loss.
While using a treadmill is a good start, getting outside for a walk is where you’ll see the most return on investment! Walking outside is calming because we expose ourselves to fresh air and new scenery but it is also great for the optimization of our hormones. Since most of us spend hours looking at screens, we are constantly being exposed to an unhealthy amount of artificial light and/or blue light, a light that can be detrimental to our health because of how it disrupts our biological clock (circadian rhythm), lowers melatonin levels, and harms our mitochondria.
It is important to balance our screen time with necessary exposure to natural sunlight. Sunlight has the ability to restore the production of key hormones, boost our immune system, and repair our metabolism. When you get sunshine, not only do you feel more at ease, but your body has a better chance to repair itself and this is when you’ll begin to see the results of all the hard work you’ve been putting in at the gym.
One of the best parts about walking is that it doesn’t cost you a dime! Plus, you can sneak it in throughout your day as opposed to setting aside 1-2 hours in your already busy schedule.
10 Ways To Incorporate More Steps Throughout Your Day
The following ideas can help you see just how easy it is to start getting a walk in each and every day:
- Make it a habit to walk in the morning, afternoon, and evening even if it’s quick (11-minutes is the daily minimum effective dose suggested in research).
- Go for a walk after each meal — this will help with digestion.
- Instead of sitting down at your desk for a phone call or meeting, try having walking meetings instead.
- Think of places you drive to that are within walking distance and challenge yourself to walk instead of drive.
- Park further away from an entrance when going out.
- Use walks as a time to connect with a friend or a loved one.
- Use a fitness tracker to monitor your steps and challenge yourself to hit a minimum number each day.
- Join a walking group.
- Change up your walking environment by choosing new routes to make it more interesting.
- Use your walk as an opportunity to study and learn something new - listen to an audiobook or podcast while you get your steps in!
We hope that you can take these tips and begin to implement them into your daily routine starting today! Have an amazing week!