Walking is the most underestimated form of exercise that either nobody really thinks about, or is simply taken for granted. Out of all the formats of exercise movement, it’s the one where you do not need any coaching or special equipment. It’s also another form of exercise which cannot be taken away.
There are some truly beautiful walks in Hong Kong. Different levels of difficulty for different levels of fitness. Whether that be the Macclehose trail, the Dragons Back, or any of our outlying islands. There is beauty to be found everywhere if you want to plan a hike.
The difficulty with hiking is, it isn’t something you can quickly do. Obviously it depends where you live and your access to hiking trails, but you probably need four hours minimum door to door, and very often longer.
This is why although I do enjoy a hike, I prefer cycling combined with a hike so I can get to as many far away places as possible. The more difficult the hike, the higher you climb, the less people there are.
Hiking is wonderful and a great way to spend a beautiful day. But the real value in walking is just, simply, walking at any time.
With time being the single biggest excuse factor for most Hong Kongers when it comes to exercise, I have always worked on finding practices which can be incorporated into a busy executives working day. And there is no easier exercise to integrate into any day than walking.
How I Use Walking While at the Office
There is plenty of scientific research which shows your cognitive abilities are increased with regular movement breaks during a working day. This is why I never sit still for anything more than 15 minutes, regularly standing up and stretching or just moving around.
But I also walk three times per day. A quick 15 minute walks in the morning and afternoon each, as well as a longer walk at lunch time depending on the weather and my lunch break plans.
Even if it’s raining, or the summer heat is too stifling, there’s always shopping malls to walk around whilst listening to a podcast.
If you think your manager or your company has a problem with you taking a 15 minute break in the morning and afternoon, I suggest you talk to them. Any decent manager is going to know their staff are not fully focused at their desk for 10 hours a day. They will know staff disappear for extended toilet breaks, cigarette breaks, or private telephone calls.
So there is no reason they wouldn’t allow you to take quick breaks to refresh your mind, stimulate your brain, and come back to your desk energised and ready to produce your best work.
By breaking up your day with walking breaks, you help your body with movement. You stimulate your brain with sunlight. You burn a few extra calories. And you get your daily step count up to a normal level of human movement.
After all, we are animals, and are certainly not built to sit in one place for the whole day.
Try adding short purposeful walks into your day to see how you feel. I guarantee you will feel much better during your day at the office, and after you leave it behind too.