10 Easy Ways to Make Regular Walking More Fun While You Get Healthy
7 minute read
It’s no secret that exercise is an essential part of staying healthy and preventing disease. This doesn’t mean you need to hit the gym every day or train for triathlons, although that’s certainly a good idea when possible.
Walking is one of the most beneficial of all exercises and one of the easiest to do. Easy doesn’t mean boring either, because you can walk anywhere and see anything. In fact, there are plenty of ways to make walking fun.
Tips for Enjoying Your Walk
It is possible for walking to become a chore and slightly boring. When this happens, you lose motivation. Lack of motivation means you stop walking and a sedentary life begins.
When you give up on exercise, you risk gaining weight, which also means that your risk for illness increases. Don’t let walking become routine and try the recommendations below to keep every walk interesting and keep you healthy.
1. Spread the Joy
Wherever you choose to walk, you likely run into people. You will come across other people walking, jogging, or sitting on benches, and the typical response is to smile and maybe even say “hello,” especially if you see them regularly.
To make your walks more interesting, try complimenting people as you walk by instead of just giving a little greeting. Tell someone their shirt is a great color or their hair looks good and the smiles you get will motivate you to keep going.
2. The More, The Merrier
Sticking to exercise is easier when you are held accountable, and nothing achieves this better than going with a friend. You can walk with the same friend, the same group, or different friends for different days.
However you do it, walking with a companion will give you someone to talk to along the way and ensures you show up to get the walk done. Walking with friends gives you time to catch up during your busy lives, and you can support and encourage each other to keep going.
3. Actively Listen
Much of your daily life is filled with noise and commotion. Between family, work, and all your other commitments, it can be a real struggle to find some quiet time for yourself.
Walking gives you the alone time you need and provides the perfect time to listen to the music you love or that book on tape you can’t seem to find time for.
4. Practice Makes Perfect
Walking gives you time alone to clear your head or to focus on important matters without distractions. Maybe you have an interview or test coming up or perhaps you have a presentation or speech to give.
Practicing or rehearsing as you walk not only gives you the time you need to focus but also helps to overcome nerves when it is time to perform. The act of walking soothes and relaxes you, so when it comes time to speak, answer questions, or perform, you are calm and focused.
5. Make a Journal
It is a proven fact that when you document or record your progress of any event, you are more likely to see it through. Keep a journal of your walks, documenting where you go and what you see. You can use various apps and fitness trackers to do this on your phone.
The act of keeping track of what you see and how far you go can be motivating. You can set yourself challenges to go further each time or set a new route. Writing the occasions down will keep you coming back for more as you evaluate where you have been and decide where you get to go.
6. Challenge Yourself
Pick a route and time how long it takes to complete, then challenge yourself to beat the time. See how well you progress over a certain period of time.
Once you have achieved the best time you think you can get for a route, switch up the route or add to the existing one. When you make it a competition with yourself, you stay motivated to keep going.
7. Slow Down
There may be times when you need a break from challenges and trying to beat yourself. Walking at a slower pace is still beneficial for your health and gives you time to relax.
Being alone gives you time with your thoughts and can even be a good time to practice mindfulness. Practice deep breathing as you walk more slowly along your route and take time to appreciate all that you see, smell, and hear.
The chaos of daily life can force us to pass by much of the beauty in the world. Mindful walking allows you to relax from stress and has a multitude of benefits for your mental health and overall well-being.
8. Help Your Community
When we drive everywhere, life passes by us in a flash. We can miss the subtle things, which cause us to take life for granted. When you walk, you move at a slower pace and can take time to notice your community and the people around you.
You may notice hungry or homeless people more often and can become more charitable. Bring lunches or snacks along the way to give to those you see, creating positivity for them and for yourself. Even some restaurants have been trying to spread the love.
When you’re walking and helping, you better your health physically and mentally.
9. Walk and Dine
Choose to walk to dinner every now and then and walk between meals too. Choose a place for drinks and then walk to a new restaurant for dinner. Before dessert takes another stroll to a new place and then walk home.
When you walk between courses you get the chance to burn calories, promote healthy digestion, boost your cardiovascular health, and get to sample more of the culinary delights that your town has to offer.
10. Educate While You Exercise
While you may not be in the mood to learn a foreign language or how to code while walking, there is a vast array of free podcasts that you can find on any subject that interests you. Learn about the history of your community while you walk through it, for example.
This can apply to music as well. Taking a walk is a perfect occasion to listen to a new album and discover something wonderful while you get healthy.
The Bottom Line
Walking is a great form of exercise because it is easy to do and easy on your body. More strenuous exercise can be tough to stick with and may not be possible for everybody.
Walking can be done at your own pace and you get to pick the scenery. Plus, when you choose to add some variety to your walking plan, you will stay fit, stay motivated, and never get bored with walking.