Do you have a hard time sticking to a walking program? Walking as a form of exercise can easily be adapted to your lifestyle. You can walk alone, with a friend, inside or outside and for as long a duration as you want to. Yet no matter how appealing walking is, it is exercise and we still find ways to avoid it. If you have made the decision to start a walking program or are finding it difficult to stay with a routine you have already established, here are some ideas to keep you going.
Things You Will NeedGood walking shoes
Set daily or weekly walking goals for yourself. Determine if you will measure by number of steps, distance or duration. Some people have set 10,000 steps a day as their walking goal. If this sounds like too much to start, begin with 2,500 steps. Record your progress and increase your target number of steps per day when you're ready. Wearing a pedometer every day will help you determine how many steps you walk during an average day and you can set your goals based on that number. If you need some kind of external goal to stay motivated, you could sign yourself up for a walking event like a 5K walk/run so that you know when that day arrives, you will have to be ready.
Vary the routine.
To combat exercise boredom or repetitiveness, vary your walking routing with different routes or methods. Make a point to walk outside if you usually walk on the treadmill in your home or in a gym. Other ways to vary your walking routines would be to walk on a trail or with a friend so you can talk and let the time fly by. You can squeeze in more walking with some of your regular errands or to-do items like walking your children to school, or walking to the grocery store to do light shopping.
Have a back-up plan.
Make back-up plans for other areas of your life that could interfere with your walking plan. Have easy dinner recipes and ingredients on hand so that meal time preparation takes as little time as possible on your walking evenings. Schedule times on your calendar for walking so that neither you nor someone else will commit you during those times.
Don't forget really good walking shoes that will be comfortable during all the walking you are doing; you don't want to have an injury from having improper footwear. Update your playlist with music that will energize you on your walks and help keep you motivated and focused on your goals. Choose workout clothes that are comfortable and breathable and have several outfits to choose from so an outfit is always clean and ready to wear.
Reminding yourself periodically of the reasons you are dedicating yourself to a walking program will help you to stick with it. If you do get off track for a while, don't think about it too much; just start back up again and keep going!