Have you ever considered the idea of changing at least a part of your commuting time to a simple walk?
Here’s why you might start changing your habits:
1. You will think and work better.
Moving will help your concentration. Early mornings can be a struggle, but walking to work awakens the mind, leaving you feeling energized and alert. The hormone released after a walk will make you feel and work better.
2. You might be high in kinesthetic intelligence.
I am a big fan of TED talks and one of the most popular ones is by Sir Ken Robinson, about traditional education and its failure at fostering creativity. One of the many points Sir Robinson makes is about the different types of intelligence people use in real life: we think visually, we think in sound, we think kinesthetically.
In other words, moving makes many people “function ” in an intelligent way, and some people really need movement to give their best. As he points out: “the connection between our minds, our senses and our physical bodies needs to be constantly tested, developed and refreshed to help us reach out intellectual or creative potential” .
3. It is free training.
Think about it: you might be driving or using public transport to go to work, and then paying for a membership in the gym. I am not saying the gym is negative, but it is a bit of a paradox: we use lifts and different means of transportation, when we could actually climb the stairs and walk regularly. Moderate, regular exercise is more beneficial than 6 months of grueling gym work followed by a sudden stop or loss of motivation.
4. It is cool.
Walking in a suit and trainers and wearing high heels or formal shoes later on used to be considered weird. Today people recognise the importance or regular, moderate exercise and see sporty habits as cool.
5. You might inspire others
You might inspire colleagues or neighbours to do the same, and even find a walking partner. Being a role model would motivate you even more.
6. Good feeling
You will have the good feeling that you’ve done something for the day before you even start working.
7. It’s not difficult or strenuous. It is not boring.
Listen to music, to a Podcast, or alternatively just observe the environment. You will be surprised at how it changes and how the outdoors might entertain you.
Walking is cheap, practical, will make you avoid traffic jams, strikes and road closures. With the money you save you might give yourself a treat at the end of a semester. For example a flight, a handbag, or a charity donation.
9. Walking is better than Prozac
Exercise has a similar effect to Prozac, but studies (published in the Archives of Internal Medicine in 1999) show that its effects actually last longer.
Exercise releases endorphins, the body’s natural antidepressants. It also reduces immune system chemicals that can worsen depression and releases neurotransmitters, such as serotonin, which improve mood. Prozac is also thought to work by increasing the activity of serotonin. Among Prozac’s side effects: nausea, nervousness, dry mouth, sore throat, drowsiness, weakness, uncontrollable shaking of body parts, loss of appetite, changes in sex drive or ability and excessive sweating, according to the National Institutes of Health. It can also cause more serious side effects, including rash, hives, fever, joint pain, swelling, fever, sweating, confusion, fast or irregular heartbeat, severe muscle stiffness, hallucinating or seizures.
Walking doesn’t have any side effect.
10. Walking is the superfood of fitness
Walking may never become as trendy as CrossFit, as sexy as mud runs or as ego-boosting as Ironman races but for fitness experts who stress daily movement over workouts and an active lifestyle over weekends of warrior games, walking is a super star.
For author and scientist Katy Bowman, walking is a biological imperative like eating. In her book, “Move Your DNA: Restore Your Health Through Natural Movement,” she suggests there are movement nutrients, just like dietary nutrients, that the body needs. As Bowman summarizes it: “Walking is a superfood. It’s the defining movement of a human” .