By Team Best Life
The more walking you do and the faster you do it the healthier you’ll be, suggests a new study. People who got more than the recommended 150 minutes of moderate intensity aerobic activity per week in the form of walking were 33 percent less likely to die during the 9-year study; those who met the activity recommendations were 11 percent less likely to die. And speed matters: Slower walkers were more at risk than those who kept a quicker pace. Those who walked slower than a 24-minute mile were 44 percent more likely to die of any cause.
Every burst of activity you do during the day counts toward that goal. Every time you walk to speak to a coworker instead of calling or emailing, every time you take the stairs instead of the elevator, every time you park your car a little farther from your destination and walk the rest of the way—those minutes count toward your daily tally.
If you want to log more walking time, try these tricks:
Count on it. A pedometer or activity tracker can help you keep a tally of your activity during the day. These gadgets are useful because they can provide a wake-up call (you may think you’re getting more activity than you actually are) and offer motivation to increase your activity. You can challenge yourself to add more steps or minutes each day or week.
Bet on it. Set up a friendly activity challenge with friends, family or coworkers. Recruit a number of participants and have each person chip in a small amount of money. At the end of a month or other specified time period, the person who logs the most walking time wins a prize, whether it’s cash or a gift certificate for a manicure/pedicure or to a sporting goods store.
Plan on it. Map out a route to work that allows you to park at least a few blocks from the office and walk the rest of the way. Or if you commute, get off one or two stops ahead of your planned stop. Choose a lunch destination that’s within walking distance. Schedule an after-dinner walk with family. If you plan it out ahead of time, you’ll be more likely to make it happen.
How do you sneak more activity—walking or otherwise—into your day?