It's National Walking Day! Walking is such an easy thing to do that you may be surprised by how many benefits it has. Going on a 30-to-60-minute walk per day can improve your health and help prevent ailments such as type II diabetes, cancer, and heart disease.
At Tria Health’s corporate office, we have a lot of stairs available. One of our employees took the time and put together an outline of the benefits!
He concluded the following:
11 steps per flight, 22 steps per floor
Two sets of an additional 5 stairs between the lower floors
0.05 calories burned per stair on descent (0.17 calories going up)
Descent speed is roughly ~10 seconds per floor
# of Stairs
Calories burned descending
Calories burned ascending*
Average time to exit
*Estimate based on incomplete data
The average time to exit includes the time waiting for the elevator and walking to the exit. You would be saving 10 to 20 seconds by taking the elevator depending on what floor you are on.
So, how do you get started on finding the motivation to walk more? Mayo Clinic outlines ways you can start to reap the benefits of walking. The first step is to set realistic goals for yourself.
1. Set Realistic Goals
Use the SMART goals method to set realistic goals for yourself. Develop Good Habits provides an example of how to create a SMART goal for walking more. Let’s break down this example:
To get more steps in over the next month, I will park two blocks away, walk for at least 30 minutes five times per week, and get off the bus three stops earlier. I will also take my dog for a walk for 10 minutes longer and take the stairs instead of the elevator.
S – Specific: This goal is specific in that it provides ways you will get more steps in if you park farther away, walk the dog, etc.
M – Measurable: To measure this goal, you can track your steps on the Lose It! App.
A – Attainable: This goal is attainable because you are adding in small changes to your common
lifestyle habits that will encourage you to walk more.
R – Relevant: This goal is relevant to help you feel healthier and reach your fitness levels.
T – Time: If you keep this plan for the month, you would have walked at least 30 minutes 5 times each week!
2. Use the Correct Technique
Anyone can walk, but there’s a proper way to walk to get the best results out of your time:
Hold your head up and look forward, not at the ground.
Relax your neck, shoulders, and back.
Swing your arms freely with a slight bent in your elbows.
Keep your stomach muscles slightly tightened
Keep your back straight. Do not arch your back forward or backward.
Walk smoothly by rolling your foot from heel to toe.
3. Track Your Progress
Tracking your distance and how many steps you take can be encouraging in your health journey. Try using your phone’s activity tracker, pedometer, or manually entering the information into the Lose It! App.
4. Stay Motivated
Setting and achieving small goals add up over time! Don’t feel like you must set and achieve BIG goals when you’re trying to make progress. Once your small goals start to become a habit, try pushing yourself a little bit further.
Example: After you have succeeded at walking 10 minutes after work every day, try going 20 minutes!
Try a different setting if you start to get bored walking at the same place.
Example: If you’ve been walking in your neighborhood, go to a nearby park trail or shopping mall.
Don’t be discouraged if you miss a day. Remember that each day is a new start for a healthier, better you. Try, try again!
What are the benefits to all this hard work you are about to start putting in? Here are just a few of the many:
Maintain a healthy weight and lose body fat.
Prevent or manage various conditions, including heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, cancer, and type 2 diabetes
Improve cardiovascular disease
Reduce stress and tension
Strengthen immune system
Tria Health Can Help
For select groups, Tria Health offers a weight management service called Choose to Lose. If this structured weight loss program is included through your benefits plan, you can receive help from a combination of registered dietitians, health coaches and pharmacists, along the best-in-class nutrition tracker app ‘LoseIt!’ and a Bluetooth scale.
Tria Health is a no cost benefit available through select members’ health plans. Tria Health’s Pharmacy Advocate Program offers one-on-one, private consultations with a Tria Health Pharmacist. During your consultation, your pharmacist will review all your current medications, including vitamins and supplements. Tria Health will assist you in identifying any possible drug interactions or savings opportunities! Your pharmacist will work with you and your doctor(s) to ensure the intended outcomes from your medications are being received.
Contact the Tria Health Help Desk at 1.888.799.8742