Walking breaks at work.

When you work an office job eight hours a day, it isn’t always easy to find time to move. There are memos to write, emails to compose, phones to answer, meetings to schedule, and before you know it, your vision is fuzzy, your back is hurting, your head is throbbing, and you’re feeling absolutely stressed and miserable.

That’s when it’s time to take a break and get moving.

I try to take two walking breaks a day — one in the morning, and one in the afternoon. If the weather is decent, I’ll walk outside — down the hill, up the hill, and around the parking lot for 15 minutes. If it’s rainy or dreary outside, I’ll throw on my walking shoes and hit the treadmill in the workout room — or I’ll just wander the hallways and walk up and down staircases for the duration of my break. It really isn’t that much, but if those two walking breaks are the only exercise I get all day, I’m still getting a half hour of moderate exercise a day — the minimum recommended amount to stay healthy. It’s also mentally healthy for me to force physical distance between myself and my work — to get a chance to breathe deeply, to look around at the scenery, and to let myself relax and recenter.

Movement is so important to a balanced life, and it doesn’t have to be running a marathon, or starting a ruthless workout routine, or doing hours of mindless cardio. It can be meaningful, relaxing, peaceful, and as easy as walking for fifteen minutes twice a day.