Walking to Work | The Lab
If you have the chance to walk to work, try it! I’m fortunate to work and live in the same town, so walking is an option for me.
Ever since I started at my job, I was determined to walk to work, but then I tried it once and deemed it ‘too far’ at the time. With a car, I can be there in 10 minutes, as opposed to 40.
By driving, you can sleep in and be home earlier for dinner, but I wanted to try walking again and see how I'd feel after a solid month of strolling each day to and from work.
So, here’s what I found!
The first few days were exhausting. I am used to walking thousands of steps a day (I am an avid fitbit wearer) but this was a new ball game. Going from 10,000 steps a day to 20,000 each day was a lot.
When I go to London I manage 20,000 in a day, but that tends to be a one off. For me, the entire walk is about 80 minutes a day, on top of the walking around the office I do. So the first week, I was exhausted.
My muscles ached, but I certainly slept better. I was less motivated to work out when I got home, but I put that down to my body adjusting to the new regime. By the time I got home, I would just flop out on the sofa and not move.
I was still tired in week 2, but the walking was becoming slightly easier. My routine became -jump out of bed, shower, breakfast, and then head out the door. Walking to work certainly clears your head and puts you in a better mood, especially when you listen to the right tunes. In some ways, I felt revitalised when I got to work.
I was still tired when I got home, but the regime was becoming slightly easier. I was definitely sleeping much better by moving more and getting more exercise. Walking home also gives you the chance to de-stress from the day at work.
By week 3, I was a lot more energetic and getting up became easier. I was still tired when I got home, but I also put this down to brain fatigue from a long day at work. By this week as well, I began to notice other benefits too.
I was saving money! I’ve worked out that I usually spend about £100 on petrol a month, just getting from A to B. But when I walk to work, I didn’t fill up for the entire month! It meant I could put more in savings (or treat myself to a few Amazon purchases).
By the final week, the walking became a breeze. My body was conditioned to walk further and faster. What used to be a 40 minute walk became a 33 minute walk, and I found different ways to walk to the office, so it was nice to change up the routine. I was still tired, but I was feeling much fitter.
My clothes felt looser, and whilst I wasn’t actively dieting, I think my muscles became more toned. I managed to fit into a dress I hadn’t fit in comfortably a month before, so that was an added bonus.
I also found my stress levels had reduced. I find driving anxiety-inducing – the stress of traffic, the potential for car trouble and the danger, if it’s bad it can ruin my day. By taking that stress out of the equation, I was much calmer throughout the day.
So, did I stick to it?
Lots of benefits, right? Of course there are. However, walking every day for 80 minutes is quite a lot. The weather plays a big component into my decision to drive or not. In the month I walked, the weather was fairly stable so it made the challenge easier. As the weather has got hotter and more dangerous (thunderstorms!), walking just wasn’t a good idea.
So I haven’t walked every day, but I haven’t given up the walking! I’ve got a balance of walking some days and driving others so I’m not too tired, but I’m also keeping my steps up. If I haven’t slept well, or if weather is harsh, I’ll drive but then walk if it’s moderate.
Benefits of walking
I’m lucky to be able to walk to work, but if you have the opportunity to walk even a small part of your journey, I thoroughly recommend it. The benefits include:
Improving your mood
Sleeping better at night
Saving money on petrol
While the sun is still out, I recommend walking even part of the way to work. It will make you feel good and increase those good old endorphins!
If you would like to submit a story or try your own experiment, anonymously or under your name, please get in touch! You can fill out the contact form on the website or email firstname.lastname@example.org!