It seems you can’t open a magazine or turn on the TV without being told you need to walk more. But do you ever silently wish they would stop telling you what you should do and instead tell you how it can realistically be done? That’s what we’re here for!
Find walking errands
Not many people are in the position to walk everywhere, so don’t hold yourself to unreasonable standards of walking that simply can’t be achieved. Instead, pick an errand or two you feel you can reasonably commit to doing on foot from now on. Whether that’s dropping off mail at the post office, picking up your child from school or meeting a friend for your weekly coffee date, choose an activity that works for you. But it’s crucial that once you pick a walking errand, you stick to the promise you’ve made to yourself. That means being prepared to give yourself the time you require to get there promptly by foot. Plan ahead, write it down, and you’ll thank yourself!
Seize every opportunity
Throughout the day, we spend countless amounts of time sitting when we could be walking around. But because these moments can be so short, it’s often easy to miss the opportunity. Consider, for example, when you watch TV. The average 30-minute show has 8 minutes of commercials, while the average hour-long show has a whole 17–18 minutes of commercials. And what do you do during that time? Perhaps you stare blankly at the commercials or flip mindlessly through other stations. Next time you watch TV, get up during the commercials, and pace up and down the hallway, or better yet, walk up and down the stairs. The same rule applies at work. Walk to a colleague’s desk rather than email them, and dedicate a portion of your lunch break to taking a quick stroll. With such small changes, you’ll barely notice the added effort, but it will pay off in the long run.
Find some means of entertainment
Chances are good you’ll find plenty of times when you’re happy to walk, think and enjoy the sights and sounds around you. But there may also be times when you find it next to impossible to motivate yourself. That’s when having entertainment comes in handy. Think about it: Do you dread sitting down to enjoy a movie or your favourite TV show? No! That’s because it’s something you look forward to. And it’s easy to give walks that same feel. If you’re able to walk and read at the same time, that’s a huge asset and one you should make use of as often as possible. If not, you can always treat yourself to buying some new music to enjoy during your walks, or download some interesting podcasts to keep you stimulated while you stroll. Just make sure you check in regularly with what’s going on around you so you stay safe during your walk. And having company is always fun, so whenever possible, ask a friend to commit to a weekly walk with you. Or if she lives nearby, simply give her a call if you’re in a walking mood to see if she can come along. The fact is, walking doesn’t have to be boring. If you find the right forms of entertainment, you can find yourself genuinely looking forward to it!
When all else fails, try the machines
For most people, walking outside is the most stimulating option. But if you find the cold Canadian winters act as a major deterrent for you, it may be wise to consider the alternative: the treadmill. Whether that means signing up at a gym or pulling out the old, dusty machine in your basement, it’s worth a shot. The benefit with walking on a treadmill is you can set yourself up in front of your favourite show or movie if you need extra motivation. Or if you aren’t in the mood to remain stationary, many gyms have large tracks you can walk around at your leisure. And if you frequently see someone there who tends to walk at the same pace as you, don’t be afraid to ask if they’d be interested in walking with you. Although some people may not be interested, most walkers are eager to make the time pass a little faster and get to know someone new.