Today is the perfect time to form a new, healthy habit, results appear in 21 days!

I want to congratulate those of you who have recently made the decision to start a daily walking routine!  You know that walking is a simple and fun way to improve your health; now the next step is to figure out when the perfect time to begin actually is?

The answer:  today is the perfect day to start a new daily walking routine!

I do realize that this is Wednesday and is smack dab in the middle of the week and that you’d rather start something new on a Monday perhaps but why wait?  Today is just as good as any day of the week, and your body doesn’t know it’s a Wednesday, it just knows that it needs to move and that it has a job to do. Your body wants to keep your blood flowing smoothly and your cardiovascular system working as efficiently as possible, and when you walk on a daily basis, you’re doing your part to help your body get its goals achieved.

There are a few options as to what time of day will work best for you to take your daily walk.  Taking a walk before breakfast is an option.  There was actually a study that found individuals who exercised before breakfast  burned fat more efficiently during the day.  I personally feel that taking a walk in the morning creates a better mood, thus creating an entirely better day!  Allow an extra half hour or so each morning to start your day the walking way.

You could also find time during your lunch hour to take a brisk walk.  It’s the perfect time of day to relieve stress and clear your mind; your energy level will increase as you notice that your productivity has gone up as well.  Take the initiative to ask a co-worker or two to join you, explaining to them that it’s a great way to enjoy some fresh air and burn a few calories; plus, walking outdoors allows you to look at something other than those same boring cubicle walls you see all day long.

You may prefer to walk once the workday is over and you’ve been home for a short while, maybe after dinnertime.  This is the time of day that I found worked perfectly for me.  It was my time – I owned it – and no person nor no thing was going to take it away from me.

Those dirty dishes from dinner can wait, your body needs your assistance in order to remain in good health.  Yes, those household chores can be postponed for a half hour or so, it’s not going to hurt the health of your dishes if they sit there but it will improve your health.

Once you figure out which time of day works best for you, you’ll probably want to make an appropriate walking shoe choice.  A good pair of flexible, lightweight cushioned walking shoes that fit your feet properly is all that you need.  A pair of walking shoes for at home along with a pair that you can keep at the workplace is optimal.   A note to all fashion conscious people: don’t worry if they match your outfit.  Shoe comfort is all you’re concerned about.

Now here’s the fun part, something that will help you incorporate daily walking into your regular routine.   Get a red ink pen and mark your calendar with a big happy face (or heart, an “X”, etc.) exactly 21 days from today’s date.  This will be a goal date for you, one to strive because that’s how long it takes to form a habit. You see, if you make sure to walk every single day for those 21 consecutive days, you’ve just formed a habit for yourself and it will become part of your daily routine, just like taking your daily shower.

Experts say that 21 days is the amount of time it takes to form a habit; after taking a quick look at my calendar I see that September 12th is exactly 21 days from today.   Go ahead and mark your calendar accordingly now (this link might be helpful in doing that.)

Enjoy each and every walk you take, remembering that you have one body to take care of and this new habit will certainly contribute towards better health.  It really is the perfect day to start.

Photo credit: Tom Gill (lapstrake)

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