Walking is a fun, inexpensive way to include valuable physical activity in your day. It can be done anywhere, at any time. If you don't shake it up a bit, walking may get monotonous. Here are a few ways to break up that routine:
- Walk with a friend if you usually walk alone. Or take your family. It may not be as fast, but others point out things you may not see, and make the time fly!
- Take a different route. See something new. Try watching a movie if you are walking on the treadmill. It will encourage you to walk longer.
- Use a pedometer or fitness tracker. Wearing one all day will be a gentle reminder to keep moving. Parking further away in the parking lot or taking the stairs will help.
- Listen to upbeat tunes on a portable device. Make an energetic playlist to help keep the pace while you are walking.
- Update your shoes and socks. Wearing ill-fitting or worn-out shoes and socks will make your feet sore, and can affect your legs, hips and back. According to the American Academy of Podiatric Sports Medicine, most walking/running shoes need to be replaced every 300-500 miles of use. For example, if you are walking 2 miles a day - your shoes will need to be replaced about every six months.
- Keep a walking journal. It is motivating to see how far you have come--and helps you set goals.
- Hydration is important. Carry a favorite water bottle when you walk in warm weather. It can double as a weight until empty.
- Pamper yourself after walking by using a foot spa or using a great peppermint foot lotion to pamper those sore tootsies!
- Try a heart rate monitor/watch. You will know when you are working to your health capacity.
How Do I Know When It Is Time To Replace My Athletic Shoes?, The American Academy of Podiatric Sports Medicine
5 Tips to Help you Stay Motivated to Exercise, National Institute on Aging
This article has been peer-reviewed. It was reviewed and updated in 2022.
Family Fun on the Run is a monthly newsletter designed to help families add physical activity to their already hectic schedules.