Every year on the third Wednesday in May, Activate Buffalo County hosts the annual Walk Out On Your Job event. This event encourages employees to promote healthy workplaces by walking out on the work that ties us to our desks. Businesses can either walk the 1.5 mile route with us at the University of Nebraska of Kearney over the lunch hour, or they can even walk in their workplace! In fact, hosting your walk at work can help you establish a route and create long-term active habits among your workforce.

The question remains- how does your team continue those active habits and create a strong walking program in your workplace? We’ve got some tricks and tips up our sleeve and we are ready to share those with you!

Whether you’re new to walking or have a long-standing routine, there are always things you can do to make your walking program a more enjoyable (and maybe healthier) habit. Walking is a great option for anyone at any level of physical fitness. You can do it almost anywhere with little to no equipment.

Use these tips and tricks to help you start or enhance a walking habit in your life.

  1. Find a time that works. You might continue to walk at lunchtime—or perhaps you’re an early riser and like to walk while you sip your coffee in the morning. Find a time that consistently fits into your daily schedule.
  2. Get the right gear. You’ll need to find some shoes that have good support and enough cushion for your joints. It’s also helpful to wear comfortable, weather-appropriate clothes.
  3. Choose your course. Find a place to walk that’s easy to access and enjoyable. Consider your safety when picking your route. Are you comfortable walking in busy areas? Can drivers and cyclists see you? Are there obstructions along your route? It can be helpful to have a familiar route in multiple areas—one near your home, one near your work and one you enjoy across town for a nice change of scenery.
  4. Use proper technique. Keep your head up, and look forward. Relax your neck, shoulders and back. Swing your arms freely or pump them a little bit. Keep your core muscles tight and have good posture. As you move, take smooth, stead steps rolling your foot from heel to toe.
  5. Take care of yourself. Be sure you warm up and cool down, easing into and out of your routine—especially if you’re walking after sitting at a desk all day. Try to avoid throwing your body into a new activity too quickly. After you walk, it can be helpful to stretch out your muscles as well.

It sounds simple, but it’s not too good to be true. Promise! Walking really can help you achieve all the benefits of exercise—as long as you work it into your regular routine.

For more tips and tricks…

Talk to your worksite wellness coordinator about becoming an Activate Buffalo County member. Our community-wide worksite wellness membership program is designed to be a resource for all our local business—no matter where they’re at with worksite wellness.

You and your coworkers can learn more about the membership by heading to ActivateBuffaloCounty.com/membership, or by contacting Ashleigh Galles at wellness@bcchp.org or (308) 865-2287.