Talking while walking, that’s how you make it a habit

Before you know it, you’ll be sitting at your desk for a few hours. You decide every day to go for a walk at least during lunch, but often it just doesn’t happen. It is not possible to go outside more often during your working day, to make it a habit. Fortunately, help is on the way! Walking consultation is the solution.

That help comes in the form of the book Walk your meeting (affiliate) of Martine van de Haan. In her book she gives all kinds of tips about how to walk more often measure. I’ll share 10 tips that will make sure you can do it now weetings your new habit.

And don’t forget in everything you read below: walking takes no more time than sitting. Especially not if you prepare it well.

1. Start with a recurring 1-on-1 meeting

Sometimes it’s as simple as inviting a colleague, put on a coat and go, but often it’s not. It is therefore good to start with a regular weekly one-on-one meeting. Start small and simple. For example, every Tuesday afternoon I catch up with a colleague from Germany and I can actually do that on foot.

Do you have colleagues who live nearby? Then invite them to a meeting. There is always someone who also wants to make a routine of more exercise. Choose a meeting where you can work with a short action list. Continue the consultation as you always do.

2. Provide routes of 10, 20, 30 and 45 minutes

It is useful to have routes ready so that you can share them with colleagues. Then you don’t have to think about it anymore and you know exactly how to walk if you see a chance of knowing.

It is advisable to devise routes that have a number of recognizable points, so that you know that if, for example, a certain building comes into view, you are halfway. That way you don’t have to constantly keep an eye on the time.

3. Do a weetability-analysis of your agenda

It is usually not that difficult to find a fixed weekly meeting that is suitable for a walking meeting. Want to explore more options? Then take a good look at your agenda. Think about which meetings are also suitable for walking and at which times you can go outside yourself. If your weeks are always about the same, you only need to do this once.

Otherwise, it is smart to repeat the analysis regularly. The advantage of this is that you can make agreements with regular consultation partners, but also that you are triggered on opportunities throughout your working week.

4. Invite people and put the information recognizable in your agenda

Now that you know what opportunities there are, you can decide during which meetings you will go for a walk, at least for the coming week. Then you can experience it. Invite the relevant colleagues for an information and put it in your agenda. You can give this type of meeting a different color in your agenda. Of course you put it in the subject line. At the location you put the starting point of the walking consultation, for example ‘coffee bar on the corner’.

5. Empathize

Walking meetings contribute to the most popular New Year’s resolutions that the Dutch have. Communicate your intentions to your colleagues: I want to exercise more, lose weight or make work meetings more efficient. Many people will recognize this and experience shows that people like to help others.

6. Block time in your calendar if you don’t feel like inviting people

If you find that too much hassle, you can create time slots in your agenda in which walking consultations are the standard. If someone then wants to meet with you at that moment, it becomes a standard knowledge. If that colleague prefers to stay put, he or she should invite you for another moment. In this way you will also find out who likes to go outside for a consultation.

And don’t any of your colleagues dare? Then use that moment to, for example, handle some phone calls on foot.

7. Experiment with different forms of knowledge

The next step is to experiment with many different working methods. The more different ways you’ve tried, the faster you’ll see opportunities to go after that know. Martine shares bingo cards in her book that help you with these kinds of experiments. There is also a bingo card that deals with the different forms of knowledge, which she also discusses in detail in her book. For example, it says: ‘Do a recap-weeting’, ‘Organize a brainwalk’ and ‘Take a difficult discussion outside.’

It pays to make others enthusiastic: it takes some effort in the beginning, but if you can get your colleagues on board and they then invite you too, then you don’t always have to be the initiator.

8. Take a group of colleagues in tow

Have you got a taste for it? Then get started with the bingo cards for groups (which you can of course also make yourself). An encounter with a group requires a little more preparation, but there is also a good chance that colleagues will be very grateful to you, because you give them a new experience, fresh air and exercise. They will also notice that you can achieve a lot with a walking consultation.

For example, organize a walking webinar, turn your workshop into a walk shop or organize an informational break-out session during a department meeting.

9. Set a goal

Setting a goal always works well. This can be in the number of steps, in the number of trips per week or in kilometres. Make sure your goal is not too easy, so that you keep challenging yourself a bit. For example, I have a goal to run 25 km per week and that is related to a goal in Pokémon Go.

10. Get Tiny Habits to make change easier

Changing behavior is one of the hardest things there is. So make it as easy as possible. Think about what is the smallest step in the right direction for you, a step that you can take anyway, and carry it out. For example, make one phone call next week while walking.

Can’t sit still anymore? I am very curious about your experiences and tips. How do you make sure you get enough exercise during working days?

Then about the book Walk your meeting

I can be very brief about it: if you want to move more often and more during your working day, I strongly recommend that you read this book. You will learn more about why walking is good (useful to convince people in your area), what forms of walking consultation there are and you will receive a lot of tips on how to go about really going outside more.

In between, Martine shares her story and discusses where her love for hiking comes from, how she came to know and how she tries to enthuse others (and also why it doesn’t always work).

It is a useful and personal book. This combination makes it very easy to read and that you want to go for a walk as soon as you’ve finished it. I have not yet dared to walk while reading…


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