Wellness at Home - Go for a Walk!
When you’re forced to stay at home, it’s important to keep wellness a priority for you and your family.
This week’s “Wellness at Home” tip is all about staying active. And it’s pretty simple. Just walk! There’s probably not a better time of year for walking than the springtime. Social distancing doesn’t mean you can’t go outside to enjoy the fresh air and soak up a little sunshine.
What’s the best time of day to go? It doesn’t really matter! If you have some time before or after your work–from–home shift, lace up your sneakers and get outside. Maybe you can even squeeze in a quick walk during your lunch break! Whenever you decide to go, here are some tips to get the most out of your walk.
Stay on sidewalks or walking paths. If that’s not possible, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recommends that you walk facing traffic and stay as far away from vehicles as possible. Don’t be distracted — keep your eyes on the road and off electronic devices. Make sure your music is not too loud so you can hear oncoming vehicles. Better yet, remove the earbud from your ear that is closest the road. Also, wear bright or reflective clothing at all times to be sure you are seen. These tips apply to runners, too!
It’s Better with a Buddy!
Just don’t break the social distancing rules and remain at least 6 feet apart if walking with non–household members. Walking and talking helps the time fly by and takes your mind off of the fact that you’re exercising! Why not invite your kids to come along and make a game of it? Here are some ideas of games to play while pounding the pavement:
Walk in a single–file line and pick a trigger sound like a barking dog or a chirping bird. When you hear the sound, the first person in the line turns and runs to the back. Continue until everyone's had a turn.
Create a “poem–on–the–go.” One person starts with a simple line like "I really love to take a walk." The others then add to the rhyme. For example they might say, "Except when I forget my sock," or "It’s so much fun to kick a rock," and so on.
Choose something specific to keep track of, like silver cars, for example. Make it a contest to see who finds the most, or collaborate as a team, whichever your group prefers.
Also, the classic travel game “I Spy” works just as well when you are on foot.
Let the Music Move You!
When walking solo, make a playlist of your favorite upbeat songs that will put a pep in your step and increase your pace. Elevating your heart rate helps burn more calories. You can even make playlists of varying lengths to coincide with the amount of time you’ll be walking. Just remember the safety tip above about keeping volume low enough to hear the cars on the road.