Any plans for New Year Resolutions?

Popular New Year Resolutions – Can it be all about walking?

Popular New Year Resolutions according to the US government

So you have decided to make a new year resolution? Whatever it is I can guarantee you that walking should be high on your agenda and I may have a way to convince you. For some reason the US Government official website has recently published a list of the most popular new year resolutions. Although bizarre at first sight on such website, I thought I could try to find an argument for walking to do with each resolution.

So here is the list:

Drink less alcohol:

That’s a harsh one to start with!  Well, we have all been drinking a lot during the festive period and it’s not uncommon for many people to give up drinking in January. I even found out that there is a charity raising money on that principal and calling it the Dryathlon! To be fair I am not sure about this method,  and it looks like it’s not enough for your dear old liver to recover according to the British Liver Trust. That’s why I believe walking could help. If you go out for a walk, you are less likely to drink a lot because you might have to drive home or you might be too exhausted and too tired to stay up longer. In any case, I think going to the pub after a walk is not a bad thing at all as long as you don’t drink to excess. Drinking one beer after exercise is good for rehydration apparently.

Eat Healthy Food:

Not an easy one either in relation to walking. I suppose that it’s all about a mind set. If you decide to take on some exercise,  any type, you want to change your eating habits too. Walking is a great form of excercise since just 30 mins of a brisk walk a day is enough to get you going! Combine this with a normal food intake, and you are on a good path to a healthy lifestyle.

Get a better education:

OK, I am lost for arguments with that one. Walking won’t get you a better education but if you decide to go back to school or on a training course to get yourself an edge in this difficult economic climate, why don’t you use your legs to get there? Or at least use public transport and get off at a bus stop or station 15 minutes walk away from your destination.

Get a better job:

It’s like above, walking won’t get you a better job. However if you feel stressed because of work, walking is a great way to decompress. In many ways, walking will help you to feel better mentally and might help you plan for the future.

Get fit:

At last something that’s got to do with walking! It’s obvious and I keep telling you, walking will makes you fit. So go on, you don’t risk anything with that one.

Lose weight:

Again another argument to back walking. Walking is a good form of excersise and when associated with a healthy diet should make you lose weight. However I would add that walking on a regular basis (a brisk walk 30 mins / day) should prevent you from putting more weight on. So it’s probably the best way to avoid the yoyo effect associated with many diets.

Manage debt:

Sorry you won’t be able to walk your debts off here. However you can start managing your debts by saving money on cutting spending on a few things. One way is to use your legs instead of your car. Just calculate how much it would cost on an annual basis to use public transport to go to work instead of using your car. You have to take every cost into account for your car though: petrol price, annual servicing and repairs, road tax and insurance (i.e car insurance is more expensive if the car is used to commute to work). Now if you have a good transport network, and it doesn’t take you a considerable amount of time to go to work, just give it a try. And of course walk to and from the station/bus stop.

Manage stress:

I’ve already mentioned that earlier and walking is a very good way to lower your blood pressure often associated with high stress levels. It’s a good way to clear your mind especially if you have too much to think about at work. Being out in the natural elements should make you feel better but did you know that walking releases endorphins, the happiness hormones in your body? So it’s another reason to try walking that stress off!

Quit smoking:

The big one! Probably the most popular resolution for smokers year after year. Well I can’t say that walking will definitely make you stop smoking. It’s all about will power after all but if you really decide to stop smoking, walking could help. As above with stress, walking helps clear up your mind and should help stop your cravings by releasing the good endorphins. Now all will depend on how much you really want to quit smoking.

Reduce, reuse and recycle:

You will definitely help the environment by walking! Compared to any other form of transportation, walking has the lowest carbon footprint of all. So think twice when you use your car, could you do the same thing locally? Go to the local shops by foot instead of the big supermarket out of town for example – especially if it’s just to buy a pint of milk and some bread.

Save money:

I mentioned this earlier in managing your debt but walking can help you save money. I was amazed how much I could knock off my premium car insurance by saying I only used my car for leisure, not for commuting. Then some car insurers lower their premiums if you have a low annual mileage. And then of course the obvious is that you don’t spend as much on fuel. At £50 on average for a fill up these days think how much you could save a month or a year even if you were filling up twice as less for example.

Take a trip:

You are up for a treat here if you want a special holiday that you will remember all your life, a holiday of discoveries and maybe challenges, I am of course talking about a walking holiday! Wherever you go, either in the Yorkshire Dales or to the other end of the planet, a walking holiday will be the best way to meet knew people and discover knew places. The slow pace of walking will make you appreciate even more your surroundings.

Volunteer to help others:

Once you have a good knowledge of your area thanks to walking all around, why don’t you volunteer yourself to lead a walking group? You know all the benefits of walking, so why don’t you try to pass it on to others? Some people are afraid of walking on their own and will never experience what it can really bring to them. In the UK there are many walking schemes existing these days like Walking for Health or the Ramblers for example, so just give it a try.

What about my own new year resolution? Well I’d like to post more often on this blog… about walking of course!

Do you have an opinion on the above? Please share it and leave a reply