So your plan to start walking was right on track, and now you have lost your excitement or the walk has become dull and boring. Don’t stop! Here are some ways to keep the fun in your walk.
Change the Route
It’s easy to get bored when you follow the exact same path everyday. Changing the route gives you a change of scenery and can give you a change of terrain too. You may end up with more hills, dirt paths or some newly paved roads. How well do you know your neighborhood? Get out a map and walk through different parts of the neighborhood each day. Highlight each route you do until your whole town is highlighted. Bring the kids with you and they can point out where their friends live. Try a few different routes to the schools or plan a walk to the police station and back. Is there a park or a bike path that you can walk around?
The weather is getting Bad
When the weather gets bad, head to the mall. Most malls open early so that people can walk in a well-lit, safe and warm environment. You can walk at a quick pace and get the same workout as if you were outside. If you walk the mall during store hours, you may have to slow it down to walk around people and not knock anybody over, but it is better than skipping the walk altogether.
Try a new Gadget
Do you know how many steps you take on your walk? Buy yourself a pedometer for $10-$40 and count your steps. You can wear the pedometer all day or just wear it for your walk. Each mile is approximately 2000 steps. For good health it is recommended that you get at least 10,000 steps each day. If you want something more high-tech, try a Fit Bit or Jawbone, which are 2 of the many fitness trackers on the market today. Your information can be seen in graph form so you can see your progress from day to day.
Add a Twist with Walking Poles
A nice way to add an additional calorie burn to your walk is to carry Nordic poles. These look like ski poles with rubber tips on the ends. Swinging these poles and touching them to the ground can increase your calorie burn by 20%-40%. You can tone your upper body muscles with these poles, which makes your walk a total body exercise.
Find a Partner
Sometimes it’s nice to have someone to talk to when you are walking. Find a friend, bring your spouse or invite your child for a little one-on-one time with you. It’s a great way to multi-task, to get another person in shape and to keep your walk interesting.
Play a Game
If you feel like you still need to be entertained while you are walking, play I Spy with the kids or bring some Trivial Pursuit cards on the walk with your neighbor. If you want to use that time efficiently, make your grocery list or holiday list while you walk.
Best of all, enjoy the time for what it is: “me time”. It is a break away from your day and it is time where you can be alone with your thoughts. Sort through some problems or figure out how to handle a situation while you walk. With the increase in blood flow to your brain you will be thinking more clearly after a nice brisk walk.