Leading a healthy lifestyle isn’t about fad diets and exercise trends, it’s about a commitment to well-being. Walking regularly can have many health benefits beyond dropping a few pounds. When you treat your body well, you’re more likely to make better decisions and curb negative routines.
Here are five bad habits walking can help you kick:
New research shows people are more addicted to their phones than ever and it could even be hurting your brain. If you want to cut down on the time you’re spending on your device, walking could be the key. Next time you find yourself with 15 minutes to spare, a time when you’d normally scroll through Facebook or Instagram, get up and take a walk instead. You’ll feel a lot more refreshed and while it may not seem like much, just 15 minutes a day can add up to help you achieve your weight-loss goals.
Every time you find yourself reaching for a cigarette (or even partaking in another bad habit such as biting your nails), go for a walk instead. Doing so helps create a new habit in place of your old one, breaking a negative cycle.
If you’ve been regulating portion sizes, you might find yourself hungry after a meal. Next time you feel that way, drink a full glass of water and then go on a short walk for a moving meditation. Getting your mind off of food and focusing on another activity makes you much less likely to want to eat when you get back.
It’s easy to spend your days watching Netflix or browsing social media, which has given rise to feelings of loneliness, anxiety and depression. And research shows interaction and friendship are essential for good mental health. Seek out friends and coworkers and start walking with them and you’ll not only see the physical benefits, you’ll feel happier, too. If you don’t have any friends who can join you, look for a walking group online or at your community health center. If there’s not one, go ahead and start your own.
When you catch yourself procrastinating to avoid household chores or tasks at work, go for a short 10–15 minute walk and then return to the task at-hand. You’ll likely find yourself more focused and with a clearer mind.