There is no doubt that walking is great for you, but having to get up and start immediately moving is not only hard, but it can be hard to be motivated to do. We would like to simplify that for you and make walking fun (or as fun as we can until you actually enjoy it yourself). Walking is a great exercise for both beginners and advanced fitness junkies! It is a great stress reliever and if you go with friends is a great bonding mechanism as well. Below are our 10 tips to make walking more fun.
- Make Someone’s Day
Instead of a simple hello offer compliments to those people you pass. Say something like “Your bright shirt makes me happy” or “I love how your shoes.” The smile motivates not only the person you are talking to but you as well and it can actually help you to keep going.
- Journal Your Walks
People who track their workout intentions are more likely to follow through with them, says David Sabgir, MD, a cardiologist in Westerville, Ohio, who started Walk with a Doc, a network of doctor-led walking groups across the U.S. and abroad. “It’s fun to go back and look at all the miles you’ve logged,” he says. Try Penzu if you prefer a digital diary.
- Find Your Crew
We’ve all heard that exercising with others can keep you more accountable. But you don’t have to grab the same workout buddy every time. Try to shake things up: Three days a week, walk with a different friend each day, and on weekends, join a bigger group of four or five others. It can be a source of support, whether for life issues, like raising kids or aging parents or just dealing with injuries or training for a race. To find a group, visit meetup.com.
- Listen Only While You Walk
If you’re a bookworm or at least like reading here is a simple rule: If you want to find out what happens next in the audiobook your listening to, you have to lace up your sneakers. It can motivate you to get out of the door! Long walks can give you a chance to listen to a good book or a motivational podcast. It’s a treasured quiet time.
- Do a Walking Rehearsal
If there’s an important presentation or tough conversation in your future, practice it while you walk. When Beverly Smith, 48, of Winterport, Maine, was cast in a community theater production of On Golden Pond, she recorded the lines on her phone and rehearsed during long walks. One reason it was better than running lines in the mirror: “Moving when I rehearsed my lines seemed to help me feel more comfortable moving onstage as I delivered them,” she says.
- Help Others
Many people start walking to work or in an effort to improve their health, it gives you the ability to observe things you have missed while whizzing by in a car, a good example – hungry people. Wouldn’t it be nice to make sandwiches and hand them out along your walk? It allows you to do a bit of good in the community so not just improving your health, but the health of others. Another way to help while you walk: Use the app Charity Miles (free; iOS and Android), which directs corporate sponsors’ dollars to your selected charity for each mile you log.
- Beat the Clock
Pick a route you’d like to follow for a few weeks and time how long it takes for you to complete it. Then see if you can finish the next walk just a little bit faster. Bend your arms and take shorter, quicker steps to speed up. Seeing your progress over time can be inspiring.
- Walk and Dine
Instead of parking yourself at a table from appetizer through dessert, break up an evening out with walks between courses. You can have wine and mussels at the first restaurant, then stroll to another place for our main course. Then you can finish with coffee and a light dessert a few blocks away. As long as you are with friends – walking can be fun and a great way to spend the evening.
- Slow Down
If you’ve been trying to walk faster but aren’t enjoying the challenge, you have permission to back off and go at a gentler speed. Walking is good for your body and mind even if you aren’t breaking a major sweat—so pick a pace that feels good to you. The important thing is that you enjoy walking enough to make it a regular habit.
- Take in the Good
Rather than barrel through a walk to get it done, stop and enjoy the beauty around you. Make a brief mindfulness practice part of your walking routine. Maybe stop to gaze at a mural, sniff daffodils, or delight in watching a dog play, just let go of everything else in your head and fill yourself with delightful presence and joy. This is the best way to make walking fun!
As always before starting any workout program it is important to consult a physician. And with 180 Healthcare you never have a copay or a deductible when visiting any physician in our network. It really is the best price for your health and wellness needs and a great way for you to start or continue your journey to Get Fit & Be Healthy!