A lot of times people in the fitness industry like to overcomplicate things.
People are led to believe that unless they use sophisticated equipment, contort their body into uncomfortable positions, or sweat profusely, it doesn’t count as exercise.
Hippocrates wrote “walking is man’s best medicine.” With no fancy equipment, gymnasium, or playing field necessary, one can improve her fitness just by walking.
In our sedentary culture, we could all use a little more of that medicine.
To move is to feel invigorated…alive! Perhaps that is why several cultures—the Spanish and the Italians, notably—retain the evening stroll. It’s not about fitness in the same way that Americans like to think of it. Rather, it’s about connecting with community in an active way.
When we can combine something that is good for our body physically with something that buoys us mentally, why wouldn’t we want to do it more often?
Enter the walk-and-talk: boost your body, boost your brain.
Next time you’re working to arrange a coffee chat with a friend, offer instead to meet her for a walk. It doesn’t have to be fast, nor does it have to be far. But if you spend an hour moving rather than an hour sitting, you’ve done something good for yourself. (Not to mention that you’re less likely to be tempted by goodies in a pastry case if you’re out walking.)
Maybe you’ll feel motivated by knowing some of our greatest human minds walked daily. Albert Einstein, Ludwig Beethoven, and Steve Jobs are all well-documented regular walkers. When you think about all they contributed to society, maybe you’ll understand why philosopher Freidrich Nietzche wrote “all truly great thoughts are conceived by walking.”
The mobile meeting has a well-established place within American corporate culture. Do you have an opportunity to introduce more movement into your day at work? Think of the creativity boost you receive from moving your body as an added bonus.
If you’re still feeling like walking isn’t really exercise, then don’t think of it as such. Walking is, however, meaningful movement that contributes positively to your health. If you’re motivated by data and personal challenges, using a simple pedometer or a more sophisticated fitness tracker may help keep you walking on the path to health.
Walking is the perfect beginner’s exercise! Join the movement. All it takes is putting one foot in front of the other.
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