Going on a daily walk should be easy peasy for us. We were designed to walk for miles and not get tired. Our ancestors walked great distances to hunt and gather our food. My Mom and Dad both walked a long way to school rain, snow or shine. Yet, in today’s society, we spend most of our time sitting down.
That’s not good for our bodies and leads to a host of health problems. This is one of the most important reasons to make an effort to move around and go for a walk each day. Sounds easy right, it’s easier said than done.
Walking for 2.5 hours a week—that’s just 21 minutes a day—can cut your risk of heart disease by 30%. In addition, this do-anywhere, no-equipment-required activity has also been shown to reduce the risk of diabetes and cancer, lower blood pressure and cholesterol, and keep you mentally sharp.
Many of us sit all day in front of a computer at work. Next, we hop in our cars and sit for a long commute home then eat sitting down and to be honest all we want to do after dinner is plop down on the couch for a Netflixs marathon until bedtime.
In other words, getting and staying in the habit of going for a walk each day can be a bit of a challenge. But that’s exactly what we need to do. We need to get in the habit of going for that daily walk just like we’re in the habit of brushing our teeth twice a day or taking out the trash on Tuesdays. Once it’s a well-ingrained habit, it won’t be as much of a challenge to make sure we go for a walk each day.
Beginning A New Habit, Taking A Daily Walk
A great place to start is to find a walking route you enjoy. It helps to make it as easy as possible. Your favorite walk may offer beautiful vistas, but if it’s a 30-minute drive there and back, you’ll be less likely to do it every single day.
Instead, save the scenic route for the weekends and come up with something convenient and pleasant for your everyday walking routine. If possible, find a route in your neighborhood. Then you can just lace up your shoes and walk right out of your front door.
Taking the same path through the neighborhood every day helps to form a habit. It’s also encouraging when you notice that you can walk the same loop faster and faster with less effort over time. It proves that you’re making a difference, and your body is getting stronger and increasingly fitter.
Good Music Can Help You On Your Walk
Listening to your favorite music, podcast or audiobooks is also helpful. It will make the time go by faster and give you something else to look forward to. You can even use your favorite media as a way to bribe yourself to go for your daily walk.
Let’s say you have a couple of podcasts you enjoy. Save them for your walks and only let yourself listen to them while you’re walking. It’s a great incentive to get out there even on days when you’re not feeling it.
Take Along Some Company
Last but not least, consider walking with other people. Find a walking group in your area, or talk a friend or neighbor into becoming your walking buddy. If you’re married, taking a walk with your spouse is a great way to spend time together and talk.
If your not sure who you can walk with, start a walking club.
Tired of walking alone? Looking for a new way to motivate yourself and others to get moving? Starting your very own Walking Club is a good way to expand your workout group – and help many people improve their heart health.
Not only is it more fun to walk when you have someone to talk to; it also has some built-in accountability. It’s much easier to skip a walking workout when you know that other people are waiting for you and relying on you to join them.
Give these tips a try to see if they help you make taking a daily walk a habit and an integral part of your health and fitness routine. If you can, I guarantee your quality of life will be better, and you just might live a little longer.