Research shows that exercise boosts our health in a multitude of ways, and also that we get the biggest benefits when we go from getting no exercise to a little exercise.
Walking 20 minutes, once a day, is manageable, and it's also enough to give us a big health boost. Research shows that people who are active have lower incidences of heart disease, obesity, cancer, dementia, and Type 2 diabetes. And in these difficult times, note that exercise also boosts immune function, makes people less likely to develop depression, reduces anxiety, helps people sleep better, promotes focus, and is linked to happy moods.
After we proposed #Walk20in20 back in December, we were overwhelmed by people's enthusiasm. So many people wanted to join in with this resolution for 2020! I think that many people wanted to do something like this, but needed a little push or a little structure to get started.
If you started with us on January 1, 2020—congratulations! You've now walked for 100 days. That means that you've probably walked at least 100 miles. Impressive.
If you didn't start on January 1, no worries—join us now for the next 100 days. One of my habit aphorisms is: Now is always the best time to begin.
If you're just joining, and wondering if you'll be able to stick to this new habit, here are some resources to help:
- Knowing where you fit in my "Four Tendencies" personality framework can make it much easier to adopt a habit, so my book The Four Tendencies can help you figure out the most effective approach. If you don't yet know if you're an Upholder, Questioner, Obliger, or Rebel, take the quick, free quiz here (more than 2.8 million people have taken this quiz).
- Many people like using the "Don't break the chain" approach, so I created a "Walk 20 in '20" one-pager that lets you cross off every day you walk. Download it here. Remember that while we don't want to break the chain, if we do break the chain, it's not a big deal—we can just start again the next day. It's another one of my habit aphorisms: What we do most days matters more than what we do once in a while.
- If you want more insight about how to build this habit, my book Better Than Before explores the strategies we can use to master our habits. For instance, I describe how to use the Strategy of Pairing, the Strategy of Convenience, the Strategy of Scheduling, the Strategy of Accountability, the Strategy of Monitoring, and the Strategy of Identity.
- Take a look at my one-pager specifically about building a habit of exercise: "Exercising Better Than Before."
If you want to learn more about #Walk20in20, and see a list of resources that will explain why this habit would be such a healthy habit, read this post. Questioners, it includes a lot of data for you! Also FAQs.
Especially right now, in these dark and uncertain times, we feel reassured when we take charge of something that we can control. Walking 20 minutes each day (maintaining a safe six-foot distance of course) is a way to strengthen ourselves for the coming days, and to take action within our own sphere.
Join us! And post from your daily walk to #Walk20in20. It's fun and encouraging to see other people join in.
One Last Thing
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The Four Tendencies explain why we act and why we don’t act. Our Tendency shapes every aspect of our behavior, so understanding your Tendency lets us make better decisions, meet deadlines, suffer less stress and burnout, and engage more effectively.