Sometimes the hardest thing about exercising is finding the time to squeeze it in. Usually, that means sacrificing time somewhere else in your life, friends, family, or worse – sleep. No one wants to do that. Thankfully, there is a simple solution to finding a way to stay active.

April 24th is National Walk @ Lunch Day sponsored by the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. This event encourages people to get up from behind their desks, get outside, and go for a brisk stroll during their lunch break.

Walking is an easy way for anyone to stay fit and it doesn’t require a gym membership, strict diets, or a personal trainer. You only need a comfortable pair of walking shoes and a destination.

National Walk @ Lunch Day

Here are some helpful tips to get the most out of your lunchtime walking:

  • Should you eat before or after your walk?

    There’s no wrong answer to this. It’s entirely personal and might be more dependent on your work schedule. Some people like to “power up” before their walk and try and work it off. While others might want to work up an appetite and treat their lunch as a reward for commitment to lunchtime walking.

  • It’s a walk, not a stroll

    Just getting out from behind your desk and outside regularly should be treated as an accomplishment on its own. But to get the most out of your daily lunchtime walks you must maintain a steady pace for at least 10-25 minutes of your walk. Be sure to leave a couple of minutes on the ends to both warm up and cool down.

  • Keep your head on a swivel

    Maybe you’ve been there. Earbuds in, listening to your favorite music, your mind drifting off as you casually cross the street when WHOOSH! A bus flies by nearly hitting you, snapping you out of your zone. Remember to be aware of your surroundings when walking through high traffic areas. Select walking routes with the least number of crosswalks and traffic, both for your safety and for the least amount of interruptions to your walk.

  • Invite coworkers

    The buddy system works. Having someone to keep you motivated as well as keep you company during your walk is a great way to maintain your routine.