I know I am not alone in this, but how many of us feel our energy completely take a nose dive during the afternoons? In thinking about it, most countries around the world agree with me and structure their daily schedules around a 5 hour siesta (rest) during the middle part of the day. When I recently traveled to Africa, my body and mind greatly appreciated the scheduled “down time”. I really wish our society would follow the rest of the world in that fashion and close all businesses between 11:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. I know that is not going to happen, but it would be very nice if it did.
For now, I have to work with what is available to me in my daily life. I, like many people, get 30 minutes per day for my lunch break. For the past 10 years, I spent that time walking. I have mapped out 2 mile walking routes at all of my work locations. I figured the extra low-impact cardiovascular exercise would help me reach my fitness goals faster. Over time, I noticed a few other benefits from these lunch break workouts. The cardiovascular activity gets my heart pumping, which in turn gives me more energy. I never have the urge to visit the vending machine in the afternoon to get a chocolate bar to stay awake.
If I am having a stressful day, walking helps me clear my head. I love listening to music. This allows my mind to wander and think about whatever I want to. This time also gives me a chance to focus on what I need to do for the rest of my day. I have come up with some great ideas around cooking, organizing my house, and planning fun activities with my family.
Another great aspect of this activity is that it does not cost a thing! I keep a pair of sneakers under my desk and bring a change of clothes with me during the warmer months. I use my watch and phone to track my speed and distance. I also keep wipes, powder, deodorant, and perfume in my desk drawer.
For safety, I walk on the sidewalks of busy streets where there are many cars, businesses, and pedestrian traffic. I also use my bluetooth on one ear instead of covering both of my ears with headphones. This allows me to hear the music and my running program while leaving the other ear free to hear what is happening in my surroundings.
My coworkers often tell me that they see me walking. Someone actually referred to me as ‘the walking lady”. Many people often tell me they want to walk, but cannot find the motivation. I love how I can get a great workout in without sacrificing time away from my family. I love that I have been able to stick with this habit for this long.
To get started, stand up and put one foot in front of the other. Repeat.