In 20 minutes you can watch a sitcom, eat your lunch, or make a quick trip to the grocery store. More importantly, 20 minutes is all it takes to make a positive impact on your health.
A recent study found those at risk or those who have cardiovascular disease can reduce their risk for a major cardiac event by 10 percent by taking an extra 2,000 steps per day. At a moderate walking pace, you can go the distance in about 20 minutes.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 145 million Americans include walking as part of an active lifestyle. In fact, walking daily can cut your risk of all types of health conditions like heart disease, stroke, diabetes, depression, insomnia, arthritis, back pain, and more! It’s a good statistic to be a part of, so hit the pavement in four easy steps.
Step 1: Tell your friends and family. These are the people who will keep you accountable. When a friend asks, “Did you go on a walk today?” You’ll want to be able to respond by saying, “Of course I did!” If this isn’t motivating enough, ask your friends in family to keep you in check by sending texts, emails, and phone calls reminding you to get moving. Your support team is key to every aspect of your medical weight loss program, and the more involved they are in helping you reach your goal, the more successful you will be.
Step 2: Grab a Buddy. Think twice before scheduling a lunch date to catch up with a friend. Burn calories instead of consuming them by suggesting a walking date instead. When you’re chatting, those 20 minutes will fly by!
Step 3: Change the scenery. Walking the same route every day can get, well, boring. Switch it up by walking the opposite direction every so often. Look up your county’s parks and recreation department to find new walking trails and parks. The change of scenery will keep you motivated and excited to go on your daily walk. If the weather becomes a problem, look for indoor options at your local gym or shopping mall.
Step 4: Gradually increase your distance or speed. Over time, your fitness level will improve, so you will need to take it up a notch to continue burning the same amount of calories. You can do this by increasing your distance or speed. Add 5 minutes a day and work your way up to 25 minutes, then 30 minutes, and so on. Pick up the pace to raise your heart rate burn more calories.