Walking is More that Just a Routine
Walking can be one of the most healthy lifestyle routines for all ages. But it also is way more than just a routine. Whether you walk on the treadmill, or walking around the block in your neighborhood after heavy meals, you know that routines need variation. While the benefit of a routine is its easy of remembering, it can also lead to avoidance, in there is not enough variety. This is why it is essential to make walking fun. And while we can all join a local gym, it is not always the most convenient or fun to practice, unless you are incredibly disciplined, or are working towards a specific goal (weight loss in pounds, by a certain date. Or, preparing for a tall mountain destination to climb).
Daily walking needs a rhythm and routine. We call it a regiment. But it also should be enjoyable to make it a sustainable lifestyle activity. Let’s explore how fitness routines can be fun.
Walking for Necessity? Think Again
Some people have to walk. Walking to the store. Walking to appointments. Walking to school. The benefit of this is the natural lifestyle that develops, simply by the necessities of life.
However, if you live in suburbia, with longer-distance travel requiring a car, simple things like picking up eggs and milk at the store simply must have a vehicle. Most people simply have little to no ability to walk out of necessity. Only in large urban cities, like New York, can this be achieved (having a car in these areas is way more inconvenient than simply heading out by foot).
So for the average modern suburban American, we need other ways to integrate walking into our lifestyle. This is going to require a little bit of planning, and adding some variety. Researching and even testing certain walks (like at parks and areas of our town) will help greatly in this process. Then we don’t have to do it again, unless we add a new destination into the mix, down the road.
Walking for Travel: The Easy Way to Fitness
One major way to launch a fun walking lifestyle is to travel more. Often, trips, especially long overseas trips and even cruises, push travelers to walk much more than their daily life at home. Seeing big cities, catching public transportation, and going through airports and places of transit require a lot of walking. And best of all, travel can be fun. Try tracking your average daily steps during a major trip. Likely, you’ll find a much higher amount of steps in a day.
Making travel walking easier can achieved with helpful tools like walking poles, day bags, and hiking socks with strong shoes. Yet, the best part is the sights to see; . . . they will make the days seem to go by quickly and full of adventure. If we could only be travelling all the time, we would likely forget how much work it may feel like to walk, and we would likely always stay fit. But that is simply not the case. Travel ends for a reason. And wherever we call home base in our life, needs to have a walking routine associated with it.
How Walking Can Be Fun?
Making walking fun is all about discovery and variety. If you have a favorite place you like to walk to near your home, try making several “favorite” walks. Walks can be more enjoyable when there is a destination that creates a sense of achievement, or break from reality. Perhaps it is a cute coffee shop. Or, maybe it is a view spot looking over your city or nature area. Or maybe it is a visit to a “necessity” like a store or service.
Add lots of variety. And perhaps, if you can, make a walk a daily practice. For example, Mondays could be one location. Tuesdays are another location. By having a balance of variety, along with some predictability of routine locations, you can develop a walking habit that is fun and interesting.
Walking for Fitness Lifestyle
If you are trying to lose weight, or build up your stamina and resting heartrate, walking must be included in your fitness lifestyle. While a trip to they gym, with a treadmill, stair stepper or ski machine is helpful on bad weather days, having the variety of many destinations will help much more. It is no wonder that residents of cities with a strong outdoor culture, have higher fitness rhythms.
If you have a gym membership, try to make that certain days of the week. Then make the other days outdoor walk destinations.
Making any activity a part of your lifestyle involves routine and creating a good habit. It is said, that an activity needs to be practiced for a minimum of three weeks to become a good habit. This helps your body and mind to include it in its internal clock, and subconsciously expect it. This expectation helps your to power through walls; days when you simply don’t feel like doing it, but you know you should. We all need this strength and willpower to overcome these obstacles. One of the best ways to do this is to proactive walking daily, for at least three weeks. And during that time, add enough variety and locations to make your walking fun. But also add some predictability, like certain days of the week assigned to a place, so you don’t have to always think of where to go.
Caminata; How the Italians do walking
Italy is known for its casual walking lifestyle. Their after-meal walks, called a caminata (also called a passeggiata) is believed to help the body with digestion, and breaking down of carbohydrates. And it’s enjoyable. It is a stroll, that is social, and full of contemplating the day. This keeps people fit, well into their later years of life.
Fitness Walking for All Ages
Finally, fitness walking can be enjoyed by people of all ages. You do not need to be a gym guru, or physical trainer to make walking a daily fitness regimen. Elderly, mid-life busy professionals and teenagers can all enjoy walking, with the right variety and mindset. If you have kids or grandkids, consider ways to make the walk fun, like stops to learn about plants or the local geography. And it doesn’t hurt to have a stop at a nice drink or activity location on the way.