I think everyone could benefit from a good walk everyday. There are some things that can enhance your walking experience and if you are walking to lose weight will help you in that area also.
Here are 7 good steps to better walking:
- Set a goal. Start small and gradually increase as you progress. Getting a pedometer or a Fitbit type of device will help you and make it more fun when you check your progress. Set a realistic goal for your own abilities and goals. If it's 500 steps, then go for it. If it's 10,000 steps then go for it. No matter how small or how ambitious your goal – set one!
- Always stretch a little prior to your walk. This doesn't have to be a major session. Just take a minute or two and stretch out your legs, back, and core before you trek out the door.
- Allow for a warm up at the beginning of your walk and a cool down at the end. This is important. Five minutes for each is a good number. The five minutes warm up can be your stretching time...but also remember to start walking slowing.
- As you're walking try to increase your pace off and on. Walk normal for 5-10 minutes, then faster for 5 or so minutes, then return to normal for 5-10 minutes. This will get your heart rate up and help you strengthen your heart and burn more calories.
- Change the scenery now and then. Walking the same old path day after day can get old. Try to walk some place new when you feel bored walking the same route. You can walk your neighborhood, change it up by walking new streets; you can park walk, if you have more than one then walk them on rotation; go downtown or to a town near you and walk those sidewalks as you window shop, and eat lunch down town for encouragement.
- Add weights. You can add small hand weights (2 lbs in each hand, or 5 lbs in each hand, etc.) or you can add ankle weights. Most ankle weights have removable weights that can be taken out or added in depending on the amount of weight you want to carry. Don't over do it at first, start light and work your way up.
- Be consistent. Set certain days to walk. I walk 5 out of 7 days. You can walk 2 days a week or more, every other day to allow you to recover, or every day if you choose. You set the schedule and it can be adjusted as you need. But! Go, even if you aren't in the mood, go and walk anyway, it will change your attitude about a bad day, open up creativity, or just give you a break from life. !
Just Do It!
There are other tips but these are 7 that are easy to implement and will make your daily walks much more fun and more productive.
Do you have any suggestions on enhancing your walk? What do you do to keep your walks fun, interesting, and productive to your health goals? Do you find it easy or hard to stay motivated to walk a certain number of times a week?