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Get Outside Every Day and Move More

Aaron McHugh

I wish this was the view from my office
I wish this was the view from my office

When was the last time you got up from your desk and got outside for five minutes before the next meeting? Instead of checking one more email or returning one more phone call, I think you should stand up from your cubicle and go outside.

In America we spend most of our time at work. Vacations total less than four weeks a year for most people. Weekends are often comprised of runs to Home Depot and our kid’s sporting events.

Throw in a daily commute to work and poof a week goes by and the only time we were outside was walking between our car and our office building.

I know many people who only engage the outside world on a weekend or a vacation.

That seems like a long time to wait to be outside.

Years ago I found this sustenance for good living, get outside once everyday.

Walking laps is better than nothing

I started walking laps around my building between meetings just to get some fresh air.

At first this was driven by stress and the hopeful desire of alleviating some of the environmental pressure.

I didn’t change my shoes or swap out my work clothes; I simply walked out the door.

I discovered that by making it a goal to be outside every single day something was slowly restored in me.

The truth is I can’t really explain to you what changed other than to say it was positively affecting my outlook, lowering my stress level and increasing my optimism.

The Jawbone Up and FitBit

If you’d love to have a coach to help motivate you to get out and away from your desk, for less than $130 you can pick up one of these.

The Jawbone Up and the FitBit are both wristbands that track your daily activity including sleep, steps walked and calories burned.

They will sync with your iPhone or Droid through a downloadable app.

Eat better. Sleep better. Move More.

My wife just got her’s in the mail today.

These charming little accountability partners will give you a nudge when you’ve been sitting for too long or have yet to meet your daily exercise objectives.

You will be amazed at how much more activity you engage in when something is nagging you to get moving.

FitBit
FitBit

I’d encourage you to give it a try for two weeks.

Get outside once everyday and witness for yourself the benefits.  Let me know how it goes.

You’ll never go back.

One last piece of advice

If you haven’t listened to my podcast interview with Nilofer Merchant on Walk-n-Talk meetings you need to.

She eliminates any remaining excuses that you can conjure up as to why you can’t walk “Sitting is our generation’s smoking”.

You don’t stand a chance if you watch her Ted Talk.

  • Aaron, thanks for this. I was reminded of the early days of my counseling practice. I used to go for walks down in Monument Valley park by the river and pray and listen to the water. I could do a loop and eat lunch all in an hour.

    Sad thing is that its been a least a year or two since I’ve done that. How easy it is to sit and “be productive” now sending emails or whatever.

    I needed this post to spark my memory. Thank you!

    • Sam-I’ve been barely keeping this one alive the past couple of weeks. But did escape a conf room a couple of times to get in a few laps around the building. Living well is harder in practice.

  • Good encouragement Aaron, thank you.

    I finally built myself a standing desk and alternate sitting/standing most of the day. The lunch run goes along way towards maintaining sanity too.

    I’d add a walking treadmill under my desk if finances and facilities allowed it.

    • Brian-I wish I had a standing desk. I added a medicine ball that I sit on at the desk and then alternate standing. I’ve only seen one of the treadmill work stations before. Sadly it was in a corner where no one used it. I once read an article about a dr. who walked while he dictated his notes and filled out his paperwork. He logged around 6 miles x day.
      Good stuff.
      Keep going

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