Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Work Day, Walk Day

I'm a big fan of sneaking in workouts on the fly. Riding my bike to run errands? Unless it's pouring--and even sometimes if it is--I'm sporting the two wheels over the four or public transportation. Jogging to a yoga class so I arrive in time? Not totally by choice since I always manage to leave later than expected but still. Walking home from work (2-something miles) on nice spring and summer evenings to avoid the stuffy El? Regular occurrence when I worked in the non-profit world and I totally admit to getting some "she's crazy" stares when I'd change into comfy clothes and proceed to take the stairs rather than the elevator.

My point to all of this is that today is a gimme when it comes to squeezing in a workout. Forget trying to sneak out of the office to burn calories and get the blood flowing, Blue Cross and Blue Shield encourage you to do it on the day they're calling National Walk@Lunch Day. All you have to do is skip settling at your desk with your brown bag or deciding which fast food locale it's going to be today, and instead take that 30 to 60 minutes to go for a walk. The idea is to encourage people to stay active, even during the hectic and often sedentary work day, and to increase daily physical activity.

A recent study showed that normal-weight women needed at least 60 minutes of exercise daily to maintain their weight, so a lunch break workout is a viable option. And when the weather is as nice as it is today (speaking from Chicago, at least), how could you not want to get outside even for a little while? But not only do you get to enjoy the weather and scenery, you're also doing your body good. Walking has been found to decrease stress, lower your risk of developing type-2 diabetes and heart disease, tone your muscles (sexy calves, anyone?), and maintain your weight.

Find an event near you by search for your local Blue Cross Blue Shield company, or just grab your keys and say sayonara to the office for a bit so you can take a breather. Your body and mind will thank you for it. And a little can splurge on that 31-cent scoop at Baskin Robbins later if your sweet tooth is calling, you earned it! Photo grabbed from Blue Cross Blue Shield and Pieces of Victoria.

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