“Walking is man’s best medicine” Hippocrates
We all know being active is good for us. Walking is also one of the most accessible forms of exercise. Getting up and going for a walk though can be difficult, particularly in the winter months. If it’s cold or wet out, or we have had a long day in work we may just want to veg in front of the tv! When you don’t feel like going for a walk this is usually the best time to go for a walk. Getting out and walking, even if just for half an hour, is good for our overall well being.
Saying and doing though are two very different things. So to help get you motivated and keep you motivated check out our tips below:
New Walking Shoes and Clothes
With new walking shoes and clothes this is the one time that you won’t have to keep your new things for a special occasion! Get them on and get out there to show them off. Test them out to make sure if they are waterproof, that they really are. If they are meant to keep you warm, that they do! Walking shoes will get more comfortable the more you wear them so get out there andbreak them in. Dress for the weather and you can walk in any season.
From fitbits to apps on your phone there are many different apps and gadgets you can get to help keep track of your steps. Many of these apps and gadgets also will tell you how long you have been walking, calories you’ve burned as well as even map your walk! They can be a real eyeopener to how much you are moving, you may be doing more or less than you think. These apps are also great for keeping track of your progress, allowing you to easily see that you can complete a walk in a quicker time or even just to simply make sure that you get your 10,000 steps a day in.
Join a Walking Group
Not everyone can stay motivated when they are just going out to walk on their own. Many people enjoy the sociable aspect of being part of a walking group. It’s a great way to meet like minded people whilst being active. The accountability that comes with joining a group will help to keep you motivated to go on the walk as you will not want to miss out on the fun or let the people organising the walk down. It you are new to an area it can also be a great way to both meet new friends and get to know your area better.
Get a Walking Friend
Joining a group may not suit everyone. It can be difficult to ensure you are free at the designated time of the walk or you may prefer to get out more regularly. So why not get a friend to walk with you. It’s a great way to catch up with a friend, before you know it the time will have flown by not to mention all the steps. Walking with a friend also means you can organise when to walk that suits both your schedules or perhaps even have a few friends that you walk with at different times during the week.
Pick a Time
Deciding to go for a walk is easy. Actually going for the walk can sometimes not be so easy. We all live busy lives so it’s best to pick a time that works with your schedule. Pick a time that you know you can stick too, such as before work in the morning or after dinner in the evening. Even better on your lunch break get out for a 20 minute/half hour stroll. Not only will you get your steps in for the day you will come back fresher to the office and ready to tackle the afternoon. The weekends can also be a great time to get out for a good long walk. Go on a Saturday or Sunday morning then after treat yourself to a tasty brunch. What more motivation do you need!
Listen to Music
The best way to make the time fly if you are out walking on your own is to listen to music. Put on an album you haven’t listened too in a while and have a trip down memory lane whilst you walk. Or why not make up a playlist of your favourite songs that lasts at least 30 minutes or longer. In no time you will have got through your playlist and got your steps in. There really is nothing like out walking listening to your favourite songs to put you in a good mood. You can even pick songs with different rhythms and match you walking speed to the songs – walk faster during more up tempo songs and then take a relaxed pace during slower songs. You can also listen to our new playlist to fully enjoy your walk!
” Everywhere is within walking distance if you have the time” Steven Wright
Choose Different Routes
Walking the same route can get monotonous and boring which will de-motivate you to walk. So every so often mix it up. Try a different route or if you normally do a loop walk try doing it in the opposite direction to the direction you normally go. Get out in nature as much as you can. Walk in parks, visit forests and seaside locations. With the seasons these walks will always be changing so you won’t get bored. Walking different routes can also be a great way to discover new things where you live. Check out new neighbourhoods and who knows what hidden gems your might discover.
Register for a Challenge or Book a Walking Holiday
If you have a goal to work towards it is always easier to keep yourself motivated. So why not register yourself for a challenge like a Charity Marathon, many of which have participants who walk the route. Or go one further and book yourself a walking holiday. What better way is there to really explore a new place than walking. A growing number of people are challenging themselves to walk the Camino, be this for a week or the full way of one of the Camino routes. When you have a goal like a challenge you know you need to prepare. If you are thinking of walking the Camino we have a training plan that will make sure you are fit for the walk. Check it out here: Camino Training Plan
Step to it …
So what are you waiting for. Get out there and start your walking journey. Who knows where it might take you someday and who you might meet along the way. Walking is the easiest form of exercise and has many benefits for both the body and mind. Start small if you haven’t done much walking before. A 30 minute stroll is a good start, then when that gets comfortable try going for longer or walking it faster. If you are using a walking app or gadget it’s easy to keep track of your progress which will also help to keep you motivated.
“All truly great thoughts are conceived while walking” Friedrich Nietzsche
Originally published on 27th January 2017, updated on