Before you get outdoors, make sure that you can exercise safely in your neighbourhood. Here are a few tips that can help you stay safe as you get moving.
Always be aware of your surroundings
Follow the rules of the road - Cross at the lights or on a zebra crossing where possible
Don’t look at your phone especially when crossing a road
Stay alert at all times. If you’re listening to music as you walk, turn down the volume so you can still hear bike bells and warnings from other walkers and runners coming up behind you.
Always walk facing oncoming traffic.
Walk on a sidewalk or a path whenever possible. Watch out for uneven sidewalks, which are tripping hazards.
Never assume a driver sees you crossing the street. Try to make eye contact with drivers as they approach. Before you start to cross a street, make sure you have plenty of time to get across. Rushing increases your risk of falling.
What to talk about and what not to talk about on walking meetings in public spaces
Which conversations make good walking meetings:
Meetings which would benefit from creative and innovative thinking
Non confidential conversations
Walks to re-energise and clear your mind
Which conversations don’t make good walking meetings:
Confidential and sensitive conversations
Anything you don’t want your competitors to hear
Walking is one of the only physical activities that everyone can easily and quickly engage in. It’s cheap, easy and there are very few injuries associated with it (unlike more vigorous activity, such as running).
It’s already a fantastic way to break up the monotony of the daily grind - but on top of that, walking for at least half an hour per day, most days, has an amazing array of positive health effects! Here are some of the most interesting:
In the short term, a walk immediately causes the body to burn more calories each day, significantly preventing weight gain in participants in this Harvard medical study. It also causes an energy increase, improved mood and a feeling of mental alertness, making it the perfect lunchtime break.
Walkers experience less joint pain, as the activity lubricates the joints which most often contract arthritis (hips and knees), and strengthens the muscles which support them.
Walking boosts the immune system, helping it defend more effectively against infectious diseases such as flu. A recent study found that men and women who walked for 20 minutes a day, 5 days a week, took 43% fewer sick days than co-workers who exercised at most once a week. When they did get sick, they ended up with milder symptoms for a shorter amount of time.
Long-term walking also has significant impacts on your defence against non-communicable diseases (such as cardiovascular disease and Type 2 diabetes), improving blood cholesterol levels and reducing body-mass index significantly over the long term.
In short, there are a bunch of fantastic reasons - from short-term impacts to long-term benefits - to go for a walk during your lunch break!
We've put it to the test with some offices across Sydney CBD. Watch the video here of what you too could see on a leisurely hour lunch break.