Four weeks have flown by of this year already. How mad. I don’t know about you but these weekly #HealthyHabits2017 challenges are actually quite enjoyable and making me feel as if something is being accomplished slowly. I’m being more conscientious about my actions. Flossing has continued into week two - escalators are being walked up on excursions around London and my alert to shut down at 1am on my computer is reminding me to go to bed. It’s great!
This week was all about walking 15-30mins more a day. Walking has so many benefits. It’s super underrated as a form of exercise but it’s suitable for anyone, any age, any fitness level and when you consistently do it, it’s really good for you. It’s easy going and you can use it for a social and productivity boosting activity - think Steve Job’s who always went for walks when he was discussing important matters. (On a side note, if you haven’t read his biography I highly recommend you do, it’s very inspiring.)
As quoted from the NHS website: ‘Regular walking has been shown to reduce the risk of chronic illnesses, such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, asthma, stroke and some cancers’. To me that say’s walking is a win win all round. If you want more information about walking for health the NHS website has some great tips and advice.
Whether you live in a city, the suburbs or the countryside. Walking is something that is super easy to do and 15-30 mins isn’t that much time. Get off the bus early, or walk part way to work. Pop to the shops without taking the car. Go for a pre-bedtime pyjama walk with your kids to get them sleepy. Go for a walk to see the sunrise or the sunset. Or just explore more of your area and see if you can find some unique spots to visit. Go for a walk with a friend instead of drinks. Make it fun. Track your progress using your phone and see the accomplishment happen on your screen.
HOW DID IT GO AND WERE THERE ANY PROBLEMS?
As someone who doesn’t drive I have been a long time lover of walking, I used to walk well over an hour every day in my late teens, an hour and a half most weekends to visit my boyfriend. But when I moved for university I found the wonderful accessibility of London’s public transport network made me a bit lazy.
However since we got a dog and moved to an area of the city that is actually quite pretty I've been walking a lot more over the last year. Starting in Spring I would walk an hour and half home from work along the Thames and I was reminded of why I enjoyed it so much before. In the summer I tried to take our dog for a daily one hour walk and was averaging well over 9k steps... but since it got cold, grey and rainy my hibernation drive has kicked in and I've not been going on foot based adventures as much. So this week was going to be of benefit to kick start me into getting back into it, plus 15 - 30mins is really easy.
Luckily this week - despite it being bloody cold in London (and the pollution limit being a bit worrying in central London), it’s been quite dry, and we even had a day of sun this week - it's the days when it's raining really hard when it feels impossible to go outside. I successfully managed every single day to go for a walk.
I walked the dog a couple of times, caught the sunset over London from the top of Stave Hill in Canada Water. Watched the Coot's on the docks slip in the frozen ice trying to get bread. Met an English Bulldog called Gerhard. Wandered around Borough Market and walked across London Bridge with my partner. And skipped the bus for a peaceful walk the long way home after an exercise class on Wednesday. Each walk was totally worth it and I felt great afterwards. No problems doing this one, just need to remember it's worth it as daily motivation to get off my butt and out of the house.
For week five we need to book a health check up. That could be a dentists appointment, a general check up, a sexual health check or blood work... Go and get yourself booked in to make sure your health is as it should be. Enjoy your last week of January everyone!