Take small steps to improve your health and improve your activity levels.
The idea of taking control of your health and making vast improvements can be completely overwhelming for most people. It’s very challenging to imagine tackling something that seems so ingrained in your daily life. One of the most important things to remember when trying to climb the health improvement mountain is that you should tackle it one step at a time!
There are several steps that you can implement to kick off your health journey. One of our favorites is to start walking! Walking is one of the best things for your health and, all things considered, has even been better for your body than running! You can implement a walking routine by taking pets or family members for a walk with you three evenings per week, choosing to park in the furthest parking spot from the door when you park at work or the grocery store, or instituting a lunchtime walking group at your office.
Another way to amp up your motivation is by including a technology tracking system. We love three application concepts for tracking your walking behaviors. The first is choosing a pedometer. Most cell phones have available pedometer apps available for download (and some phones even have these built in!). We love Stepz and Pacer in particular, which track your steps each day, help you create personalized goals, and provide feedback and tips.
The second must-have walking tech tool is an activity tracker. These apps leverage your phone’s GPS functionality to give you your distance, pace, route, and calories burned. Try to beat your time, pace, or distance with each new walk and track your overall improvement! We love Map My Walk and RunKeeper for these functions on any platform.
Another tech toy that we love for your computer or phone is a pomodoro timer app. Sometimes if you’re working in an office setting or other setting where sedentary behavior is encouraged, it is easy to get sucked into the work that you’re doing and neglect potential breaks. Pomodoro timers allow you to set your time for work intervals – maybe 30 minutes or 60 minutes – and then alert you that it’s time to take a five or 10 minute break. Take this time to walk a lap around your work building, go up and down stairs, or get yourself a tall glass of ice water.
Another great motivator when you’re trying to get more active is joining a fun class! Zumba, Barre Method, and CrossFit are some popular classes at the moment. Rally a group of colleagues or friends to join you once per week to enjoy some high intensity activities together.
One of the most key motivators when you’re trying to be more active is having an accountability group. Institute a weight loss or activity competition between friends or colleagues and encourage your colleagues to join you for a lunchtime walking group a few times per week. The motivation and accountability that you receive from these partners can make all the difference!