Walking to work can mean a boost for your creativity as well as your health, as thousands of UK workers are finding out as they strut their way to the office during Walk to Work month throughout May.
The month-long event organised by UK charity Living Streets is aimed at helping the nation’s workers put their foot down for a healthier lifestyle.
Walking your way to fitness is easier than you think. It only takes a 22 minute walk or 11 minute cycle to and from work every day to meet the energy expenditure required to significantly reduce cardiovascular-related mortality.
Meanwhile, more exercise means your personal risk of suffering from depression is also greatly reduced. Indeed, many studies have shown a range of mental and physical benefits for those opting to ditch the car to take a huge stride toward improved health.
Many of these studies were referenced in the influential book ‘Flex: Do Something Different’ by occupational stress expert Dr Ben Fletcher and psychologist Karen Pine.
It reveals how simple changes, such as changing your route to work and your mode of transport can have a major impact on your creativity and mental effectiveness. Research within the book also found a link between the breaking of routines, such as a regular commuter route, with improvements in Body Mass Index.
So how can you take advantage of Walk to Work month and capitalise on the benefits?
One way is to take new routes by foot or bike to your workplace allowing you to enjoy more of your local area, be that a village, city, or rural landscape. Walking fresh routes and seeing unexpected sights can instantly improve your mental agility, sparking new ideas and helping you see problems from a different angle, evidence shows.
And simply by measuring the distance walked or cycled and your average speed, you can set yourself a benchmark on which to improve and build upon, eventually leading to the take up running or cycling and reinventing your lifestyle, mental health, and cognitive flexibility.
There are many tools that can help you accomplish all these things, allowing you to use May’s Walk to Work as a springboard to a reinvented you.
Sports watches such as those in the Garmin range can help you to explore undiscovered routes and track your progress, helping you stay motivated long after Walk to Work month is over.
Check out Wiggle's range of Garmin activity monitors and watches to help make your commute work for you.
A stylish, streamlined, wrist based device that can be worn to track your activity 24/7. Gives you the best, and most advanced in training metrics to help boost your performance and achieve your goals
The Garmin Vivoactive HR is a touch screen do it all smartwatch with built in GPS and heart rate monitor, allowing you to track your activity and heart rate with ease.
The Fenix 5X comes with a full-colour, preloaded map of Europe, providing at-a-glance navigation and location tracking straight to your wrist. You can guide yourself whether going through a city or off the beaten track with easy-to-read guidance cues and the ‘Around Me’ map mode displaying nearby locations.
And should you want to upgrade your exercise regime, the watch is more than capable of keeping pace with a variety of exercise pursuits and sports, right up to the elite level.
With the addition of some simple sports kit, you can turn Walk to Work Month into a step toward a healthier and more creative future.