Walk Your Way to Weight Loss
Beyond the obvious activities like taking the stairs instead of the elevator and parking in a spot farther away from the office or store, there are plenty of ways to add a mile (2,000 steps) to your day. "Walking is an easy, inexpensive way to exercise and stay healthy," says Adena Kaplan, MPH, manager, Prevention and Wellness, Center for Health Improvement. "All you really need is a comfortable pair of walking shoes." Use the checklist below for some ideas you may not have thought about.
At work Meet on your feet: Plan a "walking meeting." If your daily calendar calls for a half-hour meeting with colleagues and the weather is good, talk business during a brisk walk. If the weather is bad and you're in a large building, you can walk the halls during your meeting.
Talk and walk: If you have a cordless phone or cell phone, get up and walk around your office while on a business call. You'll find it's just as effective to stand or walk as it is to simply sit.
Make it personal: Instead of sending an e-mail or phoning a colleague, walk over to his or her office. It's just as effective — plus a little face-to-face contact with co-workers never hurts.
Think on your feet: If you're planning a presentation, don't sit and think about it. Walk to the water cooler or to another floor and create an outline in your head; then return to your desk to write it up.
Out (and in) for lunch: If it's a busy day, walk to a nearby deli to buy a salad or sandwich, then eat lunch at your desk.
At home Walk, don't press: The TV remote control is convenient, but put it down. Get off the sofa and walk to the TV to change the channel.
Walk and watch: While you're watching TV, walk in place or take a stroll around the coffee table for several minutes.
Just down the block: If you carpool with neighbors on school days and need to make arrangements, don't phone — take a quick walk down the block to coordinate.
Be inefficient: When clearing the table after dinner, carry each plate individually from the dining area to the dishwasher — and add a little "uphill" to your lawn-mowing chores by switching from a power to a push mower.
At the mall: If you don't have the time to devote to a 20- or 30-minute walk, do a few minutes of window shopping.