New Year’s resolutions are filled with promises of self-care, gym memberships, less toxins, better nutrition, good sleep, and meditation. But what exactly can we incorporate into our daily routines to maximize health and longevity?
Recent studies show that walking as little as two hours per week can help you live longer and reduce the risk of disease. The world’s longest—lived people don’t pump iron, run marathons, or join gyms. Instead, they live in environments that constantly nudge them into moving without thinking about it. They grow gardens and don’t have mechanical conveniences for house and yard work. They have jobs that require them to move or get up frequently. And they walk every single day. Almost everywhere.
Activates lymphatic system
Your environment greatly impacts your activity level, but there are ways to nudge yourself to move more if you do not live in a walkable community: Take several small walks Take your dog out for a short morning jaunt around the block. Walk instead of drive to pick up workday lunches. Step outside after dinner with your family. Research shows it is better for you to break up your movement throughout the day than to work out for 30-45 minutes in the gym and sit all day. Walk to the grocery store If your location safely allows you to, walk to the grocery store. Though you may not be able to purchase a week’s worth of groceries in a single trip, you can buy the freshest ingredients and return again later in the week. Park in a spot furthest from the building If you work in the suburbs, in a mall, or a business park with very few parking options, just choose to park far away from the entrance to add a few more steps to your day. Take the stairs! Walk 5 minutes each hour Get up out of your desk and take a round of the office. Fill up your water bottle. Get outside to maximize benefits, if possible. Take one long walk per day Walk for 30 minutes per day. Recruit a friend or listen to a podcast. Thirty minutes will fly by before you even realize how far you’ve gone! If you’re tight on time, squeeze in a 10 minute power walk. Research shows that if everyone were to start power walking for an extra 10 minutes a day, we could prevent more than 111,000 deaths every year. Meaning, in theory, if you’re not walking at all right now, just 10 minutes is enough to start extending your lifespan!