For an activity that yields so many benefits, walking is greatly underrated. It's a safe and easy form of exercise anyone can do, at any fitness level is. And you can build things up as you progress, by walking more quickly, walking for a longer period, or walking on more challenging terrain.
For people who walk regularly, it often becomes a part of their daily routine that they look forward to.
If you're just getting started, or you're struggling to maintain a consistent walking routine, here are some ways to make things more enjoyable.
Invest in a good pair of walking shoes.
Running shoes are typically your best choice, but go with anything that works for you. The most important thing is that they're comfortable, durable, supportive, and suitable for your feet. If the shoes you're currently walking in are old and worn out, or they've lost their cushioning, replace them. It's worth the investment, as your feet and the rest of your body will notice the difference.
Choose the time of day that works best for you.
Some people love a brisk walk first thing in the morning, finding that it energizes them for the rest of the day. Many people like heading out for an evening walk after dinner. Then there are those who prefer late morning or mid-afternoon. Finding the time that naturally works for you will make your walk much more enjoyable, as opposed to forcing yourself to head out when you don't really feel like it.
Find a walking route that appeals to you.
Is your route too noisy and congested? Is there construction going on? Explore your area and try a different route. If you can walk in an area that exposes you to trees and lots of greenery, that's even better, as it will further relax you and boost your mood.
Wear walking clothes that you feel great in.
For some people, that might mean throwing on some comfortable sweats and not giving it another thought. On the other hand, many people feel better heading out (and more motivated, too) when they feel they're wearing something that looks good on them. Go with whatever works for you, but don't underestimate the boost you can get from putting on some exercise wear in a flattering style and your favourite colour. Moisture-wicking fabrics and water-repellent outerwear will help you stay comfortable and dry in all kinds of weather.
Turn your walk into a relaxation/meditation session.
With so much of our lives spent rushing about, walking is an excellent opportunity to slow down both physically and mentally. Practice some deep breathing as you walk; you'll feel your mind calming down as well.
Also take note of what your body is communicating to you as you walk. Are your hips tight from sitting all day? Are your shoulders tight from being hunched over a desk or computer? Allow your posture to straighten up, and allow any tension in or your body to be released.
It won't be long before you start looking forward to how much better both your body and your mind feel after your daily walk.
How to Gain Clarity When You Feel Conflicted
Key Characteristics of Healthy Compromise
Why You're Feeling Emotionally Drained
How to Avoid Unwanted Weight Gain After 50
Selenium: The Multitasking Mineral Your Body Needs