The Benefits of Walking

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While I was commuting to work this morning, stuck in traffic, I was regretting my decision not to alight at Gate 3 of our university to take a 15 minute walk to my office rather than spend the same time mulling about stuff while I inhaled smoke and listened to the noise of the marketplace en route to my place of work.

See, I used to work in the city but decided when the opportunity presented itself that I could take on a job somewhere closer to home. So now, instead of  spending two hours on the bus to go to work everyday, I have cut back the commute to roughly 20 minutes,  30 minutes if the jeepney decides to wait around to get more passengers along the way. Actually, one of the reasons I decided to switch to the academe (my former alma mater) is because of the wide campus that allows me to get up and take a walk in the park (believe me, my school is like a theme park) in case I feel like it. Bottom line, unlike regular offices, there is an option to stretch one’s legs and really get out, rather than stay within a cubicle in front of a computer for an entire eight hours.

To make the long story short, I’ve found a passion for walking while I’ve been here. I’ve never been sporty by nature but I do appreciate the opportunity to exercise, albeit not too strenuously. Here are some of benefits to walking that I could name from the top of my head:

a. Walking is good cardio. Walking provides a great cardio workout and may even provide the same benefits as running provided you walk  a bit faster than your normal pace (which isn’t hard to do) in order to get your blood pumping. There are studies that prove this but I’m no expert so I’ll just stick to the basics.

b. Walking helps you lose weight. I must admit that in the year or so since I’ve worked in the academe and started walking, I’ve managed to lose a bit of weight (roughly 10 lbs) that I’ve put on while overeating in the office (which was entirely my fault because I didn’t know my limits).

c. Walking gives you time to think. Time spent walking gives me the opportunity to think about things with a clearer head, because of the more open environment that gives me a sense of freedom.  Ideas flow more freely and the 15 minutes or so spent walking in the early morning or on the way home in the afternoon are considered refreshing moments to focus on things without any pressure.

d. Walking gives you time to chat with your friends. Walking is a very fun passtime and its even better if you spend it with a walking buddy. You cover more ground faster and you really don’t notice the effort you exert walking because you’re too busy having fun, talking. I’m not sure is talking is considered a form of exercise but if so, then you’re doing two exercises at once. 🙂

e. Walking gives you time to relax and regroup. After spending hours in front of a monitor, it is a welcome break to see scenes other than the four walls of the office or your cubicle. Walking is a perfect excuse to take a few minutes to relax and appreciate the outdoors.

I’m sure there are a lot more ways in which walking is beneficial. But instead of me telling you what they are, why not step out of your office and take a five minute brisk walk around the corner? It will do wonders for you, I’m sure.