Walking is my favorite exercise for losing my love handles and boosting my overall wellbeing. I’ve been walking for over 20 years and it never gets old for me. Over the years I’ve found lots of ways to make walking fun as well as effective.
The first key to making walking fun is to find walking that you like! There are different ways to enjoy the benefits of walking and I’m going to share my favorites here. The other thing you can do to make walking fun is to combine it with other activities that work well with walking.
FIND WALKING YOU LIKE
When something is fun, you’re more likely to stick with it. And when you stick with something, you get the most benefits from it. So get out there and have some fun
For me, this is outdoors, on streets or trails. I just can’t do a track for more than a loop or two. But I’ve also used a couple of other ways of walking to help me keep my walking going during times when I couldn’t get outside.
Try Neighborhood Walking
A lot of this depends on where you live. When I lived in residential neighborhoods I was happy walking in my neighborhood. I would experiment until I found the perfect 3-mile loop for my walk.
It’s especially nice when you have good sidewalks and you don’t have to worry about traffic. I have lived in neighborhoods without sidewalks and I still walk but I take extra precautions. I wear bright clothes and really pay attention.
Try Walking Trails
Now that I live in a big urban city, I’ve become a fan of walking trails provided by my city in the big parks. Since safety is always an issue, I write about some ways to stay safer on your walks here. I really enjoy walking trails because they provide paved trails, being in nature, and traffic-free walking.
Going into nature is a bonus in walking. Getting fresh air, sunshine, and the benefit of nature makes walking good for the body, mind, and spirit. Everything My Think Big Life is about! Even if you can’t get to a trail daily, you might consider doing it once a week or so.
Try the Treadmill
Some people like the convenience of a treadmill. I struggle to walk outside in the summer here in Texas and sometimes I’ll go use the gym instead. My daughter created a fast workout for me. I know it works—but it’s still harder for me to stick with than walking outside. But if time is an issue, it can be a great addition to your workout repertoire.
Besides being convenient, treadmills also provide a way to quickly adjust speed, incline, and intensity. You can track your heart rate, speed, miles walked, and calories burned.
Try In-Home Walking
I like in-home walking with Leslie Sansone. Her walking videos are in 1, 2, and 3 mile sessions. You can do these videos in a small space right in front of your TV or computer. She combines walking with arm movements so you get a full body workout too. See full affiliate disclosure here.
COMBINE WALKING WITH OTHER ACTIVITIES
Yes, you can do other things while you walk and get the most out of your time. It’s the ultimate multi-tasking.
Learn While You Walk
I just can’t seem to listen to podcasts or talks while sitting at home or in the office. However, an hour long walk is a great opportunity to get some learning in. Save your upcoming podcast or webinar recording to listen to during your walk.
Another way to learn while you walk is to listen to books. Libraries now allow you to check out audio versions of books for a period of time. So you can learn or just be entertained as you walk.
Listen to Music While You Walk
I always keep a walking playlist on my phone. Sometimes I look forward to listening to my music as much as I look forward to the walk. Together they create a perfect combination of relaxation and exertion that makes walking addictive.
Almost any kind of music will work as long as it makes you feel good. I like to pick uplifting, cheerful songs for the most part. But to tell the truth, I’ve loaded it with sadder songs when I needed to process some strong emotions.
The beat of music will also help you keep a good pace. It naturally motivates you to keep moving.
Visit with a Friend
Walking with a friend or partner can be really pleasant. I don’t do it every day because I also like walking on my own. However, I’ve recently begun walking with a friend once a week or so. And I do enjoy it and look forward to our walking visits. It’s a great way to get exercise and catch up with each other.
However, if your walking buddy, stresses you out more, go alone or find someone else.
The only time that I was walking on a regular basis and walking didn’t help me slim up was a period of time I was walking with a friend who made my walking feel stressful. She was a type A and her energy did not complement mine! I loved her and loved hanging out with her but it was the wrong energy for my walking.
I believe that part of the reason walking is so beneficial and effective is that it relaxes the body and hopefully reduces stress hormones. If a walking partner causes you to be more stressed, then you lose some of the benefits of walking.
I don’t play every time I walk but I do play some of the times. I was curious about it and had the kid of a friend teach me. I’ve taught my granddaughter and we go out together sometimes. I tend to be a collector and this game appeals to that part of me.
In all seriousness, it can be a fun way to get out with your children or grandkids. I have no idea about the complexities of the game beyond the basics. But because being outside walking is so good, I have to at least mention this
Take a Child or Dog for a Walk
Depending on your situation you can use taking your child or dog for a walk. I especially enjoy pushing my granddaughter around her neighborhood. Back in the day, my kids and I did a lot of walking. I would push a stroller and my husband would strap a kid onto his back. We believed that being outside and walking was good for our health and good for our family.
Check out my Make Walking Fun video on Facebook
After our children weren’t walking with us any more, we found ourselves walking the family pets every evening. Dogs love walking and it’s a great way to get some additional steps in.
FIND WAYS TO MAKE WALKING FUN AND BANISH THE BOREDOM FOR GOOD!
Walking is my favorite exercise and over the years I’ve found lots of ways to banish the boredom and make walking even more fun. Exercise needs to give me more than strictly physical results. It has to improve my mental and emotional outlook as well.
In addition to the above ways, I really like adding some intensity to my walks. I detail how I do that here.
When you find ways to make walking fun, you get the best workout there is!
Keep your feet happy too!
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I'm a former counselor, career services leader, and college advisor. Now I coach and write at My Think Big Life promoting health and personal growth.