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Stories

Six walking tips – or how to move more in no time!

Chapel Brook Jess RielPhoto by Jessica Riel.
In the spring at Chapel Book in Ashfield, Mass., the brook and waterfall are in full glory. Of the two trails, the half-mile is considered easier. For a full description, go to: www.thetrustees.org/places-to-visit/pioneer-valley/chapel-brook.html.
Walking and other forms of exercise are important components of leading a healthy life. Walking has been shown to reduce body fat, lower “bad” cholesterol, and decrease stress. It may seem like walking is just another form of exercise you haven’t had time to do, but walking needn’t alter your schedule if you just change the way you think about it.

Six ways to fit walking into your daily life – without taking up extra time

1. Take a phone call on foot

If you have to make or take a phone call, why not head outside and take a walk around the block while you chat? Keep aware of where you’re going and, to be safe, don't text while walking!

2. Take the stairs

Many buildings that offer elevators have stairs, though sometimes they may be hidden behind a door or around a bend in a hallway. Make a conscious effort to find and use the stairs.

3. Walk your pet

Animals need exercise and sunshine to be healthy just like we do, and Fido won’t walk himself! Most dogs can be walked on a leash, and for those who can’t, along with other small animals, you can invest in a pet stroller to get outside with your furry companion for some fresh air. If you don’t have a pet of your own, ask a neighbor, family member, or friend if you can walk their dog with or for them.

4. Schedule a walking meeting

Walking indoors and outdoors has been shown to improve creativity; a 2014 Stanford study found that a person’s creativity increased by about 60% on average while walking vs. while sitting down. Taking a walk with a coworker to brainstorm project ideas could be just the thing needed to inject a new perspective into your work. The benefit lasts for a little while after you’ve sat back down, so even if you cannot convince your coworkers come along, you could still take a walk solo before you get together.

Bridge of FlowersPhoto by Jessica Riel.
Located in the village of Shelburne Falls, the Bridge of Flowers, a former trolley bridge turned into a walking path and garden over the Deerfield River, is open seasonally from April through October. Initiated by the Shelburne Falls Area Women’s Club in 1929, the gardens are cared for by volunteers. Invite your friends to walk the single-path garden at your leisure and stroll through the historical district of Shelburne Falls. Find additional photos and learn more about the Bridge of Flowers at www.bridgeofflowersmass.org.

 

5. Walk with family or friends

Turn social and family time into a walking excursion together! If you’re going out to meet a friend for lunch, make it a picnic and walk to a nice spot together in a local park. Start a neighborhood walking club, take your grandchildren out for a pre-naptime stroll (their parents will thank you!), or plan a weekend get-together at a state park, beach, mall, or other spot where you can enjoy time well spent walking together.

6. Park farther away and walk to the entrance

Most parking lot spaces closest to the building fill up first. Avoid the frustration of trying to find a free spot to park your car by always parking at the back of the lot – and get in a few hundred more steps!

Become a healthy living expert!

To learn more about other small changes you can make to improve your health, contact LifePath at 413-773-5555 or 978-544-2259 or email us. Ask for the Healthy Living program, which offers six, evidence-based workshops in the community for people who want to enjoy healthier lives.