8 Ways to Make Walking For Exercise More Fun
Walking is the most popular and common form of exercise, yet walking for exercise isn’t always fun. In fact, like drinking water, it can be boring. When exercise isn’t enjoyable, you’re less likely to be motivated, and if you’re trying to lose weight or maintain it, that can be a real bummer.
As a dedicated daily walker, I have looked for ways to make this activity something I can look forward to every time. The following suggestions are for adults or children; having fun shouldn’t have an age limit! With that, here are 8 ways to make walking for exercise more fun and interesting...and even productive!
1. Power walk, with a twist. My definition of power walking is walking with a purpose, and that purpose is recycling. Engage your power to make a difference in the world while walking and pick up plastic bottles, aluminum cans, or even cigarette butts (they can be recycled) and place them in the proper recycling bins along the way or when you get home. (Bring along a bag for this purpose. I use a reusable cloth bag.)
2. Walk a dog, even if you don’t have one. That’s right; dog ownership is not required. Offer to walk the dog of a family member, friend, coworker, or neighbor. Better yet, volunteer to walk dogs at your local animal shelter or rescue organization. They often depend on volunteers to perform this important task. You may make some new four-legged friends and have new places to walk.
3. Change your route whenever possible. If you always take the same route through your neighborhood or around the school track, shake it up a bit. If there’s not another route you can take near you, make a new one. When you go to a store or another destination, park and take a walk there, or park a mile or more away and walk to and from your destination.
4. Play the alphabet game. This game is better if you are walking with someone. It’s simply the walking version of the car game: identifying words or objects beginning with each letter of the alphabet, in order.
5. Be conscious of your environment. Too often we don’t pay close attention to our environment, but you can choose to be conscious. If your walks involve some natural elements, then you can focus on, say, the different birds or other creatures you encounter along your walk. We confess to counting rabbits during our morning walks (and trying to beat our last high figure)! If you are an urban walker, you may look for how many people are wearing hats, the number of SUVs you pass on the street, or the types of birds you see along the way.
6. Kick the (fill in the blank). My husband and I used to play this game during our walks, and we filled in the blank with pine cones. We frequented a 3.0 mile walk that had pine trees along the streets, so we would see how long we could keep a pine cone “in play.” Naturally, kicking a small object while you are walking (it could be stones, a small ball, bottle cap) doesn’t work in many areas. But it can be amusing.
7. Do walking meditation. You may not want to do a walking meditation every time you walk, but it is a delightful change of pace (literally!) and a wonderful way to relax your mind and spirit while exercising. Walking meditation is about getting in touch with the earth and your inner spirit while walking. Instructions on how to do walking meditation are here.
8. Contemplate the clouds. Here, the weather has to cooperate; cloudless or overcast days won’t give you an opportunity to find faces and animals in the clouds. But when you are blessed with clouds, you can be quite entertained by watching the shifting clouds and identifying objects and patterns in them.
So lace up those shoes and get walking. Do you know of any more ways to make walking for exercise fun?
Image courtesy of Pixabay