We all know that walking is good for us. In fact, this is an understatement. Walking is one of the most beneficial physical activities for both the body and mind. It helps us improve our overall health, it’s a low-impact form of exercise and it’s quite accessible, since it doesn’t require special skills. And yet sometimes we just can’t seem to find the motivation to jump off the couch, get out the door and start exercising.
At some point we’ve all dealt with this issue. We’ve all had “off days” when we simply didn’t feel like stepping out of the house and breaking a sweat. Fortunately we can fix this. If you want to stop being a couch potato, there are multiple ways you can motivate yourself to walk. Here’s what you can do in order to find that drive and maintain it:
Set a Realistic Goal
There’s nothing more satisfying than knowing you have reached your goal. Before setting off to a new journey, it’s always important to aim for something, to set a clear target for yourself. Why? Because having a goal will provide you with the highest level of motivation to stay on track and not give up.
When it comes to walking and exercising in general, the important thing is to set a realistic goal. A goal that’s within your reach and doesn’t push you to the extreme. For example, if you aim for 10.000 steps daily and gradually see that you can’t walk that much, it’s most likely you’ll get discouraged and give up. Instead, start off with a reachable goal, let’s say 4.000 steps each day or perhaps 30 minutes of active walking. Reaching this reasonable target will help you boost your confidence and take pride in your achievement.
Use a Step Tracker App
Have you ever gone for a walk and later found yourself wondering how many steps you’ve taken or how many calories you’ve burned? Knowing those stats would have made you feel better about yourself, for sure. Well, this is where technology steps in. Today you can easily stay up-to-date with with your physical activity and with the progress you make. Seeing that progress will most surely help you stay motivated to walk more and more.
In order to track your physical activity, you don’t really need anything else but your mobile phone. Indeed there are also fitness trackers available, but why purchase an additional gadget when you can simply use your own phone, which you technically carry everywhere with you. Just download a pedometer app like our own ActivityTracker and you’re good to go. You can see useful fitness stats, set a personal step goal and permanently monitor your activity, even hourly.
Discover the Right Time
Early in the morning? Sometime in the afternoon? Or in the early evening? Discovering which is the best time for you to walk can help you get better results and maintain your drive along the way. Walking at the wrong moment, when you’re feeling your legs are heavy and tired, will prevent you from getting any enjoyment out of your walks and can lead to demotivation.
Take into account all the key factors, such as your working schedule, family commitments, errands you have to run, meal times, to properly plan your walks. For some people, walking in the morning provides the energy required for the entire day. Others find it more suitable to go for a walk after dinner to burn calories and improve digestion. The key is to experiment and, once you discover the right time for you, to stick to it.
Wear Comfortable Shoes
If you want to get the most out of your walks, it’s important to feel as comfortable as possible. This is not the moment to be all dressed up. There are other occasion for this. When you go for a walk you need to wear the suitable clothes for the weather at that time and the right pair of shoes.
Having on the right pair of shoes will provide you with the comfort you need to continue your walk, will prevent blisters and will reduce the risk of bone and muscle injuries. Having this peace of mind will turn your walking workout into a truly pleasant experience and automatically increase the chances of making it a habit.
Grab a Friend with You
Sometimes you need a little you time. Time to spend with yourself, to walk at your own pace and to reflect on what’s going on in your life. But other times it’s ideal to be accompanied by someone. One of the best ways to walk more, to get those extra steps in and burn calories effectively is to find a walking buddy.
Having a friend come along during your walks will allow you to exercise in a fun and enjoyable manner, without actually feeling like a workout session. It will give you a chance to catch up, share positive experiences and encourage each other. And before you know it, you’ll have covered all the distance you initially set.
At the same time, once you start walking with a buddy and create a clear schedule that suits you both, you’ll feel less tempted to cancel your exercise and you’ll keep yourself accountable to your commitments.
Join a Walking Club
Research has shown that walking in groups is an effective way to increase your physical activity and hence to improve your overall health. Joining a walking group or club has a proven positive impact on your well-being and can help you keep your motivation as high as possible.
Being accompanied by other people who share the same interest and passion comes with important advantages. You get to meet new people, socialize and maybe build relationships, you can benefit from encouragement and support along the way and get a higher sense of security as opposed to walking on your own.
Seek New Routes
If you go for a walk all the time in the same place, you’re bound to lose interest in this activity. In order to keep your enthusiasm alive it’s best to periodically search for new walking routes and mix it up. The options are multiple. Walk along your neighborhood and discover new places, walk to work, get away from urban settings and walk through a forest or park. Just change the scenery every once in a while to make your walks more enjoyable.