There’s been some fuss at my job about the new parking procedures. Unless we get there early, chances are that we have to park in a lot that’s about a 5-minute walk away. I think I’m the only person who’s actually happy about this.
I mean, do you ever think about how much you actually MOVE on a day to day basis?
For cubicle slaves like me, chances are it’s probably not very much. I have to admit that I’m slightly envious of people who work in retail or restaurants simply because they get to MOVE. I know that to some people 6-8 hours on your feet sounds like torture, but to me it sounds great! If you disagree, then you’re probably on the wrong blog.
I sit on my ass. All day. For eight hours. In front of a computer. Honestly, it drives me nuts sometimes. I was not meant to be that sedentary. So how do I alleviate the problem?
Part of the solution is walking on my lunch break. (Sometimes I also do a full-blown weight training workout on my lunch break, but that’s a post for another day.) When I tell people this, I usually get one of three reactions: 1. You’re crazy. 2 Why? 3. Isn’t that a waste of time?
To address #1: Um, I guess we have different definitions of crazy, but I can see where you’re coming from. I mean after all, lunch time is when you’re supposed to relax, right? Why would I want to spend my break doing even more work? Well, that brings us to #2….and to that I respond, why not?
What are my alternatives? I could go to a restaurant where I would sit some more. Order food that probably isn’t as healthy as something I could prepare myself. Pay for it when I have a fridge full of food that I already paid for at home. Eat. Go back to work to sit some more and possibly nod off from a food coma depending on what I ate.
Or, I could walk for 30 minutes, listen to music and think about my life. Then go back to work and eat a quick, healthy, light lunch before resuming work energized and relaxed. That doesn’t sound so bad, does it?
And as for #3, walking is so NOT a waste of time. I know it may not seem like much, but it’s the little things that make a big difference in your life. You see, there’s this thing called NEAT (non-exercise activity thermogenesis), and it’s pretty significant to how many calories you burn a day. Potentially even more so than a 30 minute cardio session. What is NEAT? In short, it’s how much you burn daily just from moving around (not counting sleep, eating or sports-like exercise). Studies show that the majority of calories we burn a day actually come from activities like walking to and from places, showering, cleaning, doing chores and other little things like that. (LINK)
For example, who do you think burns more calories a day, a person who works in an office, or a hotel room maid? This is a perfect example of NEAT in action.
Even if you don’t need to lose any weight, walking is good for you! Physically and mentally. It keeps you young, man. I know they taught us all this stuff in elementary school, but sometimes I think we need to be reminded of the basics. We get so caught up thinking that we need to be doing p90x or Crossfit or some other kind of craziness to get any results, but it’s not true. If you really want to get somewhere–and I’m not only talking about a physical destination—walk there. And then maybe run if you feel like it. Walking is so easy and peaceful, and it’s so good for you. I wish people would do it more.
Seriously, if you are currently living a sedentary lifestyle, try adding 30 minutes of walking to your schedule every day and see how you feel. It doesn’t get much easier than that.
Now, I’m fortunate to work a skip and a hop away from my gym and a very nice park—JC Bermudez in Doral. On days when it’s not sweltering hot or raining, I take my lunch-break walk at the park. Other days, I go to the gym and walk on the track so I don’t get sweaty. I know not everyone is fortunate enough to have their gym or a nice park two blocks away from their job. But if you ARE lucky enough to have either of these options, I’d recommend going for it.
Other creative ways to get some lunch time walking in? Go to the mall. I’m not advocating consumer whoredom. Just a little window shopping and people watching. I’ve been known to go to International Mall and try stuff on when I need a break from the gym. Hey, moving is moving, even if you are just getting undressed and dressed and undressed again. 😛
If anyone has any other ideas, pipe up!