National walk to work day

National walk to work day - By Adam Church
Just the heading alone scares me, although over the years the amount of traffic on the roads has dramatically increased and I sit in my car saying to myself “I could walk so much faster!” But yet sitting in a line of cars has become the norm and what have I done to change that?
If we go back 15 years to when I first started the morning commute to work up the M2/A2 I could fly by in the car and be at work in 30 minutes. 10 years later and that same journey was costing me over an hour in time each way. Effectively making me lose an hour extra a day (5 days a week, 50 weeks a year, equating to 250 hours a year, over 10 days sat behind the wheel of a stationary car!)
The one resource we can’t save, reuse or buyback, time! For me it was time away from my daughter, missing the bedtime routine, or even out to work before she had opened her eyes for the day. A year of this and I had to make a change.
With my newfound career came a discovery of extra time, time to go out and just enjoy, to take long walks around parks, coastlines and even zoos. With all the extra time with the kids, the one thing I was doing without thinking was walking more. I may have been pushing the pushchair or giving the extra shoulder carry, but I was being more active. The more active I became the happier felt. So this got me thinking, what additional steps can I do on an average day?
Before we start looking at the small changes, let’s look at the “why”. Why walk to work? Why walk at all? Research shows that walking 30 minutes a day can make you live longer! WHAT! That idea alone I’m sold, take my money and sign me up! I wanna live longer! By being “active” and the 30 minutes a day walking can and does help to lower cholesterol, reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke and high blood pressure.
Now those are just some of the health benefits that are vital to improving quality of life. But in fitness, I like to think it’s more about how we feel, what was making me feel good about myself and making me a happier person? (The kids, I’m human there were times when they came to test the boundaries, they’re kids it’s what they do). The extra time each day being more active was creating its very own internal drug and I was loving it, Endorphins. Endorphins are a drug that is similar to morphine. They are considered a natural painkiller and are released from the brain and nervous system and can also help bring about feelings of euphoria and general well-being.
So by walking more I was prescribing myself my very own brand of happy. Now by making changes to improve quality of life, a lot of people come to the gym to reach a weight goal and make short term changes that don’t last. Why? Routines. So this “walk to work day” let me challenge you, not to walk all the way to work. But to find 30 minutes extra in your day to walk.

For example

  • Park the car further away from the school gate
  • Find a space away from the store when doing the food shop
  • Get off the tube/bus one stop early
  • Visit a local park 

Let’s not forget all the other bonuses:

  • Your legs and gluteus will look amazing
  • You will burn more calories helping to lose weight
  • Those jeans will fit better
  • Strengthen bones and muscles
  • Improve balance and coordination

Make a long term small change that will help bring out the happier side of you.

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