walks after work are great exercise and stress reducers

walks after work are great exercise and stress reducers

Exercise Benefits– Brisk Walking

“The Brisk Walk”

A lot of my patients have  a hard time integrating exercise into busy lifestyles with long hours working and often childcare responsibilities.

One of my proposed solutions for this is the brisk walk.

The ideal time for many of my patients is immediately after they arrive home.  I tell them they may want to greet the spouse (hug the kids) and change shoes.  Then head right out for the walk.  Do not fully re-enter the home; it’s often much harder to get going later.  Do the walk; apps including RunKeeper are helpful to measure the distance and pace and store your history of exercise.

Try to go nearly every evening.  When appropriate, go with your partner or a teenage child.  Walk for about a half an hour or longer, although time and distance depend on fitness level, hunger level, how late you arrive home, weather conditions, etc.  But do something!

Other options including those that can walk to work (a minority in Culver City or Beverly Hills area), walk briskly to a bus or train stop, or walk during the lunch hour (perhaps with a co-worker).

Some like to get up early and walk before work and before an AM shower.

Ideally hydrate before you leave work, in the car driving home, or briefly at home if needed.  Walking alone is great for stress reduction, enjoying nature, walking at your own pace, and letting go of tension.  Walking with someone allows distraction, often longer distances are achieved, the walk feels like it’s done sooner, but pace is not fully your choice.

Other exercises are great: jogging, cycling, spin classes, swimming.  But for many, the brisk walk is a great re entry to exercise, easier on the joints for those over 50, and a good change of pace for heavier exercisers.  It doesn’t involve “going the gym” with the attendant clothes changes, etc.  It has perhaps the most efficient turnover time and highly cost-effective exercise.  I do advise stretching when you arrive home after the walk, but that is a subject for another entry.

You’ll likely be in a more pleasant mood he rest of the evening– good for everyone.

A recent study suggests you can add seven years to your life with a brisk daily walk.

So start walking!