Did you know that walking is the best form of exercise? Think about it. You don’t need equipment to do it. Most people can and do walk. It’s low impact and it doesn’t have to take a lot of time. Yet, many people don’t take advantage of the benefits of a daily walk. I used to work with a woman who adopted a puppy. From the very first day, she walked that dog morning and night. At the same time she gave up drinking soda. Just those two actions led to her losing weight! And she felt better. Just getting outside and moving improved her mood and gave her purpose. Looking to try this walking thing out yourself? Here are some ways to help you build the habit.
- Attach your daily walk to something else you do each day. Consider walking before or after breakfast or after dinner. You already eat, and walking after a meal helps with digestion, so it’s a win-win.
- Walk with a partner. Walking with a family member, neighbor, or friend helps keep you accountable and you have an opportunity to connect with other people, which is always a good thing for our mental health. Plus, it makes the time go by more quickly!
- Get a dog! Having a dog is a great way to make sure you walk. After all, the dog needs the exercise so it’s a built-in way for you to get some steps in, too.
- Buy a tracker or use your phone. Tracking steps gives you a goal to work toward and helps with accountability. Two 15 minute walks a day is about 7,000 steps, which is what experts say we need each day to stay healthy.
- Find new places to walk. Get creative with this one. You can decide to walk every street in your neighborhood, for example, or try a new route. If you’re feeling adventurous get in the car and drive to a new location. Even just doing a block at a time is a way to make it new and different.
- Listen to something you like. Whether it’s music, a podcast, or an audiobook, listening while you walk can help make those steps go by. In fact, when I have something great in my ear, I often walk farther than I expect to go.
- Invest in a great pair of walking sneakers. In fact, go one step further and make sure you have comfortable clothing for whatever season it may be. Being comfortable allows you to walk in any weather and fresh air is good for the body and soul!
I am a daily walker and have been for a long time. Since the pandemic started, I’ve done one to two walks daily. It’s a lot of steps! But, getting out in the morning helps wake me up and set purpose for the day and walking in the evening winds down the day nicely. I go with my dog but I also have joined a neighbor, my husband, and each of my kids at times. I love my walks. Try it! I bet you will enjoy them, too.