Why You Should (literally) Get Off Your Butt and Walk Towards Your Big Vision

Walking to work

I’ve been having back pain off and on for eight months. I’ve tried lots of things to make it feel better, but so far only a few things have helped: more stretching and walking, and less sitting. Like many of you, I spend a lot of time sitting. Like, a lot.

There are all kinds of scary statistics about the negative health effects of sitting, but I’m more interested in the positive effects of walking:

  1. It helps us think.
  2. It improves our physical heath.
  3. It improves our mental health.

Walking to work 2

Believe me, I absolutely know how hard it is to sit less and move more, especially if you have a job that requires you to sit all day. Some things that have helped me, or people I know are:

  1. Walk to work. For example, I can walk from my home to a BART station, rather than take a bus most of the way.
  2. Set a timer and get up from your desk every 30-60 minutes.
  3. Take a walk as part of your lunch break.
  4. Have walking meetings at work. Beth Kanter shares 5 tips to host effective walking meetings.
  5. Meet friends for a walk in an interesting neighborhood, or natural setting.
  6. Walk to errands. I’m lucky enough to live about a mile from a grocery store, so I can walk there and back plus get in some functional fitness by carrying a couple bags. If you don’t live within walking distance of stores, you could park at the farthest point away from the entrance as possible.
  7. Get a Fitbit, or other fitness tracker. I love my Fitbit Zip. It doesn’t have a lot of bells and whistles, but it keeps me aware of how much, or how little I move each day.
  8. Take photos. Sometimes I get bored walking, especially if it is on the same route day-after-day, but once I set the intention to take a least one photo every time I went for a walk, I enjoyed it a lot more.
  9. Get a dog!

One of my favorite dogs ever.

What tips do you have for how to sit less and move more?

All photos by me.

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