Step It Up – Even in the Rain

I’m very excited that the Step It Up! walking campaign has finally begun, although I am not too thrilled about the rainy weather we’ve been having!  As was evident at yesterday’s kickoff walk, however, a little (or a lot of!) rain shouldn’t have to stop you from incorporating physical activity into your day.  One of our Wellness Champions had the great idea of walking indoors, in the McCormack Building garage, and a group of 25 eager walkers joined in on this activity.  In about 30 minutes, we walked 10 laps around the 4th level of the garage, which equalled around 3,000 steps, or 1.5 miles.   Although a parking garage may not be an obvious – or ideal- venue to walk around, it does serve as an option when the weather is less than perfect for walking outside.  Many state buildings in Boston and throughout the state have garages that can serve this same purpose – just be careful and watch out for cars and make sure the garage is ventilated well enough so that you are able to walk around it comfortably. 

A parking garage is not the only option for walking when the weather is bad; there are many other ways to work toward 10,000 steps without getting wet.  Almost all buildings have stairs, and stairclimbing is a great way to add steps, build muscle, and burn calories.  If you work in a tall building, start slowly and walk up a few flights of stairs at a time until you can build your resistance up enough to walk all the way to the top.  If you work in a low-rise, walk up and down the stairs several times a day.  Try to take the stairs in any building that has them (as long as you can get to them without an id badge or security code). 

If you’d like more interesting scenery, try walking around a mall or other enclosed public space on your lunch break, after work, or on the weekends.  Some malls even have walking clubs that you can join, if you’d like to walk as part of a group.  If you don’t have time to make it to the mall, try to add in more steps around the house by doing a little extra vacuuming or putting laundry away one piece at a time.  Walk around the house when talking on the phone instead of just sitting down.  While watching tv, stand up and walk in place, at least during commercial breaks.  Or better, yet, instead of watching tv, pop in an exercise dvd and get in 30-45 minutes of aerobic activity.  It’s still very much possible to be physically active on rainy days like today.  If you have a unique way that you stay active when the weather is bad, feel free to post it in the Comments section!

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