Exercise is one of the best things you can do for your physical and mental health, but that doesn’t mean you have to hit the gym to see the benefits of moving your body. Experts say walking at a particularly moderate intensity has been linked to a wide range of benefits, including lower incidences of chronic disease, healthier body weights, higher energy levels, better mood and a stronger immune system.
Yet despite the many benefits of walking, many people can’t muster the desire to move. The good news? Experts say there are a few key ways to motivate yourself to take a daily walk. Read on to find out which eight motivational tips will have you putting one foot in front of the other and reaping the benefits in no time.
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Turning your walk into a “photo safari” is an excellent way to get motivated to walk, he says Mike JulomACE-CPT, certified personal trainer, CrossFit athlete and founder of the website ThisIsWhyImFit.com.
“In our digital-driven age, many people already enjoy capturing unique or beautiful moments with their phones or cameras,” he says The best life. “By committing to taking at least one interesting photograph during each walk, people are likely to become more observant and observant of their surroundings. This practice fuels creativity and curiosity while encouraging consistent physical activity,” he says.
Julom adds that taking the time to look for something worth photographing every day can also foster a sense of appreciation for beauty in everyday environments. The New York Times he refers to these as “stunning walks” and says they are linked to greater levels of happiness and physical health.
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It is well known that walking in nature has an additional set of benefits over walking in urban environments. Indeed, the Yale School of the Environment notes that “a growing body of research points to the beneficial effects that exposure to the natural world has on health, reducing stress and promoting healing.”
Julom says that by exploring natural environments and even learning about the local flora and fauna, you can turn your daily walks into a learning journey. “This practice also encourages people to explore new routes and regions to diversify their discoveries, which adds variety to their walking routine and makes it more exciting,” adds Julom.
Not sure where to start? Consider downloading plant and bird identification apps to your phone, which can help you connect with your surroundings.
Another way to motivate yourself to take a daily walk is to choose an ideal time of day to do it. Dear Ponticelloa personal trainer at Fountaingate Gardens Independent Living Community, suggests going there in the morning or evening after dinner, when it tends to be cooler and quieter.
While it’s a good idea to pick a pleasant time to walk, it’s also a good idea to pick a time that allows you to form a sustainable daily habit. For example, if your lunch break consistently works for you, schedule your walk for then.
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When it comes to exercise, there’s nothing wrong with a little old-fashioned self-corruption, experts say. Ponticello recommends occasionally indulging in some new walking gear that you’ll be excited to don at the start of your daily walk.
“A good supportive pair of shoes or fun activewear will help keep you comfortable and keep you going, as will a hands-free bag to hold your keys and phone,” Ponticello says.
Many people enjoy the solitude of walking alone, but others will find it more motivating to walk with a friend or walking group. “Having a friend by your side not only makes walking a breeze, it puts you in charge of your own routine,” says Ponticello.
Ronny Garcia, CPT, a trainer with Blink Fitness, agrees that walking with friends can make your routine that much more enjoyable. “Imagine all the talk you can have! And on those days when you’re thinking about skipping the walk, you have that extra incentive to go so you don’t disappoint your friends,” she says The best life.
Sometimes it’s hard to be motivated when your walk only affects You. That’s why Julom recommends taking “charity walks,” which help you walk for the greater good.
The trainer says you won’t necessarily have to find a major event to attend. “Some apps, like Charity Miles, offer a service that counts the number of steps you take and converts it into a donation to a charity of your choice,” he says. “This provides a noble purpose to daily walks as it ties physical activity to social contribution. Walking suddenly becomes more of a personal health benefit.”
Paying attention to your step count is another way to provide your walk with purpose and motivation. “Set a goal for a certain number of steps or the distance you would like to walk each day,” advises Garcia.
While many people ultimately aim for 10,000 steps a day, a number widely associated with major health benefits, Garcia says it’s okay to start small. “Aim for one mile each day and then gradually build on your miles as you build endurance and enjoyment for your daily walk. Tracking your progress, similar to setting a goal, can be motivating and rewarding,” she advises.
If you Do If you plan to take your walks alone, Garcia recommends finding a fun activity you can get absorbed in to help pass the time. A podcast, audiobook, or some music are all good options. “I’m not much of a physical reader, but I’ve found that I enjoy listening to books as I walk, and I’ve rediscovered the joy of reading!” he says.
You may find even more luck with this motivational method if you only listen to that particular book, podcast, or playlist as you go for your daily walk. By bundling your walk with something you can only enjoy while walking, you’ll be more likely to hit the open road on foot.
Best Life offers the most up-to-date information from top experts, new research and healthcare agencies, but our content is not intended to replace career guidance. When it comes to the medication you are taking or any other health questions you have, always consult your doctor directly.
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