Walk this way

Happy African American businessman with bag walking on streetWhen you think about fitness you probably picture working out with weights, running on the treadmill or even an outdoor bootcamp and it can be difficult to imagine scheduling those activities into your business travel itinerary.   A less obvious but just as effective pursuit is walking.

Why walk?

The human body is designed to move not sit in an office all day. According to the Ramblers and Macmillan Cancer Support, Walking Works Report, inactivity is responsible for 17% of early deaths in the UK and 6% of deaths around the world, making it one of the top four global killers. It’s estimated that sedentariness is costing business several billion pounds each year in sick days and health care costs.

The simplest way to get up and get moving of course is to walk and walking is accessible to nearly everyone. It’s free, you don’t need special clothing or equipment and you can do it almost anywhere at anytime. Walking improves heart health, reduces the risk of diabetes, and relieves stress. In July this year the Chief Executive of NHS England described walking as a ‘miracle cure’ for public health.

How to walk

The great thing about walking is that it’s suitable for most of you whatever your age or fitness level. It takes about 20 minutes to walk a mile and the mechanics are straightforward:Business woman smiling and walking at station with bag

• Engage those core muscles.
• Stand up straight with your chin roughly parallel to the ground.

• Keep your gaze a few feet in front to keep an eye out for potential hazards.
• Let your arms swing naturally.

Where can you walk

It’s easier than you think to incorporate into your working day whether you’re working from home, commuting to your office or travelling overseas:

• In London it can be quicker to walk between stations than stay underground. Did you know it’s less than 2 miles from Charing Cross to the heart of Holborn? Have you experienced the wonderful green walking route from Euston to Kings Cross?

• Walk between connecting flights at the airport rather than using the conveyor belt. If you’ve got time to spare at Minnesapolis-St Paul International there’s a 1.4 mile walking loop to help you stay active. You can join at any point and there are distance markers every 0.1 miles so you can track your progress.

Businesswoman walking upstairs with briefase• Whether you’re going up or down, choosing the stairs will give you a vigorous all over body workout. If you work in an office building avoid those awkward lift conversations and take the stairs! If you spend more time at home run up and down your stairs a few times or why not use the bottom stair for a bit of step work.

• Discuss business over a brisk walk or a gentle run around the local park rather than across the boardroom table. A change of scenery will stimulate sharper thinking far more effectively than time spent slouched between four walls over endless cups of coffee.

If you want to seamlessly incorporate fitness into your business schedule at home or abroad the simplest solution is to walk more. It’s a simple as putting one foot in front of another!

©  Extravitality 2015

Author: Julie Dennis
Julie Dennis is a fitness coach specializing in weight loss and body transformation results. She is a level 4 skilled personal trainer and a qualified member of the Register of Exercise Professionals (REPs). Julie also holds a UK Athletics Leadership in Running Fitness qualification. Prior to training as a fitness coach and establishing herself in the health & fitness industry, Julie spent over 20 years behind a desk in London employed in a variety of roles in the management consultancy, executive search and mining industries. Whilst working as part of a global team at Rio Tinto Julie experienced first hand the challenges of incorporating fitness and wellbeing into an international travel schedule. A keen marathon runner she often found running whilst on a long a haul trip an ideal reliever for jet lag.

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