Walking is such a good low impact exercise, and it’s one of the easiest and preferred ways to get your daily movement in, but sometimes we just don’t do it. I love walking when I am on holidays, visiting beautiful places, and on weekends with my husband. But the thought of walking alone for the sake of getting some exercise was not very appealing to me.
Often we start to incorporate walking or going to the gym on a daily basis, with the good intention to take care of our health. But just as we are getting the hang of it, we come across a roadblock. Either the weather is not suitable, you just lost your motivation, your gym buddy is not available to come with you anymore because they started working, or life just happens.
I always liked the idea of going out for daily walks or runs, but then I would complain “Oh that will take up a lot of my time” or “I don’t wanna go by myself!” However, I recently bought an online exercise plan and part of the program requirement is to go out for a daily walk without fail for 15-20 min. Now, considering the rainy British weather, that was going to be tough, but since I signed up for the program I had to commit. If you sign up for some program you need to follow it properly in order for it to work. So far I have been walking every day and the weather has been cooperating with me too!
I feel that since I have made a commitment to follow this program, I am going to stick to it and the rest will fall into place. I did experience foggy, cold, drizzly weather few times but I know I have to do this and I will try my best to do it no matter how the weather interrupts me. Somedays I take longer walks and other days I just meet the minimum requirement. It’s been few weeks since I started walking and I would like to share a couple of helpful tips, not just for walking but for any exercise or sports routines you like to do.
1. Make a colorful checklist to keep yourself accountable. Place it on your fridge or memo board and make sure to fill it in after you do your activity.
2. Set a strong intention and be clear as to “why” you want to do this activity. Be aware that making the decision or wishing to stick to it, is not going to help us achieve the end goal. It’s the consistent action that we take which will produce results. So make a daily plan and TRY YOUR BEST, no matter what the circumstances. However, don’t beat yourself up and give up completely if you happen to miss a day. Just make up for it by finding an alternative. For example, walk on the treadmill, do a couple of rounds up and down the stairs in your house, do some jumping jacks, do some lunges while you are cooking or vacuuming or put on some music and dance.
3. Prepare well in advance for the walk, by:
- Picking your preferred time of the day and reserving it in your planner. Tip: Sometimes I like to combine my daily walks to do errands such as going to the post office, the corner store for last minute/forgotten items, or walking to appointments at doctors instead of going by car.
- Planning your route.
- Choosing an outfit for your comfort and adjusting according to the weather.
- Downloading your favorite playlist or a motivational podcast to listen to so you don’t get bored.
- Carrying a water bottle to stay hydrated.
- Wearing appropriate footwear.
4. Make this time special for you. Consider it as a time to reflect, relieve stress, listen to your body, soak up some sunshine, connect with nature, or just breathe.
You may not reach your goals completely and that’s ok because at the end of the day you have nothing to lose. You will still benefit from getting your daily movement, get some fresh air, get your blood circulating, improve your mood, and even meet people.
It is so surprising that once you start, it’s hard to stop. Sometimes I go out to walk and say “Oh I’m tired today so I will just walk 20 min and come back”, but once I am out there I get into the rhythm and before I know it I have walked for 45 minutes or more.
So don’t dwell over starting; just decide you are going to do it, set a strong intention, commit yourself, plan ahead, and you will do it!
Do you enjoy walking? Share your favorite activity in the comments below.