It’s almost November and I am in the midst of the Diabetes Australia Walk to Work campaign (a national initiative to encourage all Australians to introduce walking into their day). It’s a simple concept to introduce more physical activity into your day – you can park your car a little further away from the station, or get off the tram one step early.
Research of up to 400,000 people has found that walking an extra 15 minutes each day can help extend life expectancy by up to three years, while reducing the risk of stroke, heart disease and type 2 diabetes as well as increase mental wellbeing.
While walking is an easy way to make life more active, with the fast-pace of today’s world, it can be a less favourable option than the quick and comfortable car or public transport ride.
These days with a 24 hour news cycle we see and hear of more health, nutrition, exercise and fitness stories than ever. With so many conflicting theories of how to get healthier, and not knowing what news you hear is credible, it can be confusing and sometimes it feels easier to ignore it all.
Or, sometimes the sensationalist messages you hear sink in and all of the sudden you’re on a health ‘kick’. We’ve all been on them, but how long do they really last for? Even the use of the word ‘kick’ implies a short and quick action, rather than a longer-term change in habit that has longevity.
Walking is simple, it’s easy, it is part of your everyday life and can be an effective form of exercise if you make it worthwhile. I was particularly reminded of this on Monday, as I trudged to work through some of the worst rainfall I’ve seen in a long time. I arrived at work – yes, a little wet – but I still did it! It wasn’t hard or tedious, it was just part of my day. That’s why walking is part of my daily routine and will continue to be, not just for now, but for as long as I can.
You too, can sign up for Diabetes Australia Walk to Work and encourage those around you to get up and get moving!
Michael Goldman is Deputy Chief Executive Officer at Diabetes Australia – Vic. You can follow him on Twitter @MGoldman_ the thoughts and opinions expressed in this blog are his own.