The weather was so glorious yesterday morning, that I traded in my third cup of coffee for a 30-minute walk before I headed up to all of the tasks that awaited me in my home office.

Walking GroupIt was a good trade, and one that I know I should make more frequently. The sunshine, the thinking time and the movement gave me a boost that I needed to approach another action-packed day.

Action-packed in my world means hours of sitting—sitting at my desk, sitting in meetings, sitting in the car. It’s a sedentary existence that’s not good for my body or my mind, and I know it. My excuses are many, but tend toward a proclaimed lack of time, as if somehow thirty minutes is going to make or break any deal I’m cooking up in my professional or personal life.

Yesterday’s jaunt was so pleasant that I’m determined to do better about just making it happen more frequently. Today’s a good day to do it– the American Heart Association’s National Walking Day!  Perfect.

It should be noted that I’ve done this before. I’ve made loud proclamations about how things are going to change on the activity front, and then something fizzles. I let that tricky time trap get the better of me, and fall back into my inactive patterns. I’m told, as are we all, that it’s about being intentional, but what does being intentional really mean?

  • Make a list of the benefits you hope to gain from becoming more physically active, and post it where everyone can see it. (First on my list is to simply have more energy!)
  • Write a list of excuses you might make for not doing physical activities you might enjoy, and the ways you can overcome them. (My list is very long, I’m afraid, but it all comes down to feeling good about taking some time for myself.)
  • Write down the dates and times you’ll do your physical activities, what you’ll do and who will do them with you. (Got it. Evening walk. Partners, my husband and two dogs. I can do that.)
  • Get fit with family and friends; it’s more enjoyable when you have someone to be active with. (True. My daughter will be home from college soon, and she’s serious about yoga. She’s invited me to join her, but I’ve always held on to my coffee instead. Maybe I should get myself a mat and get started!)
  • Always warm-up at the beginning of exercise sessions and cool-down at the end by stretching, walking or doing the exercise more slowly. (I’ll have to work on this one. I’m impatient and already feel guilty that I’m not cleaning the house or paying bills or something else important.)

Catch Healthy Habits guide coversFor even more information about ways to develop a healthy lifestyle, download these two free Healthy Living Guides, one for families and one for adults. Both are packed with helpful information on how to develop good-for-you habits to stay active and improve nutrition. The Guides were developed by CATCH Healthy Habits, an Oasis program sponsored by Anthem Foundation.  For more information, click here
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When you are walking, be sure to stay safe! Check out these tips from , for good ways to keep yourself from being injured!