Once you develop a specific routine it becomes almost like a habit and eventually a lifestyle. Getting into the routine and back into it if you are forced to stop can be diverted easily by mindset though.
The benefits of walking extend to good physical and mental health as well as longevity and creative development. Of course, like any routine sticking to the guidelines you set can prove difficult.
How to Triumph over Hurdles to the Walking Routine you Promised Yourself
Success comes from finding ways to motivate yourself. Whether it’s walking with family or friends, sharing your progress for positive motivation, listening to music, or changing your surroundings, you must develop a more positive relationship with walking.
Find out the specific tips and tricks you can implement every day to make your walking exercise more fun and allow you to stick to your routine.
Developing a Walking Routine
The health benefits of walking every day as your daily form of exercise are wide and plenty.
Walking on a regular basis will help you lose weight, strengthen your heart and cardiovascular activity, relax your mind, and develop your creative capacities as well as prolong your life.
Of course, you probably know all this and have done extensive research. However, developing a walking routine can be like trying to stick to a diet plan. It’s not always fun but you know it’s good for you. Starting is always the challenge – to overcome all the excuses your mind makes to avoid the effort.
Fortunately, once you get into the rhythm of things, walking daily doesn’t seem like a chore, rather it’s a fun activity that leaves you feeling accomplished and excited, ready to face the challenges of the day.
Developing a fun routine really comes down to your mindset and how you decide to approach and progress with the goals you have set.
Start Slow and Track Your Progress
Be realistic with your walking goals.
You may feel really motivated the night before your first-morning walk because you have been encouraging yourself to hit the tracks for a month. But forcing yourself to wake up at five in the morning and walk for 2 hours, six days a week, isn’t really going to work.
You may get away with it for a day or two but afterwards, you will feel broken down, sore, and ready to quit.
Instead, learn to ignore the short-term results and have the long-term plan in mind. Start with a nice stroll for five or ten minutes. Enjoy the fresh air in the morning and smile at passersby.
Get acquainted with your new lifestyle.
After a week or so, increase both the time and the number of days you spend walking. Go from five minutes to 15 then 20 and 30 and increase the number of days a week from two to four.
Track your results and increase gradually on a weekly basis. If you ever feel like you want to quit, take a look back at how far you have come.
Create a simple line-graph with Excel or track the number of steps you’ve taken every day using a mobile app to keep yourself motivated by your progress. You can also share your results on social media or with friends and family.
Receiving positive social feedback can really help you overcome hurdles and continue to develop your walking routine.
Walk With a Loved One or Join a Community
If you really want to kick it up a notch start walking with a friend or family member.
Having someone along is an excellent way to develop a routine because you are essentially partnering an activity with a specific person and feel an obligation to keep going. This way you will both motivate each other to keep going and you can also reward each other when you reach certain milestones.
You should also join online groups and forums of daily walkers on Reddit or Facebook Groups. Watching the progress of others and asking for help will really encourage you to keep going and overcome and adversary.
It’s the knowledge that you aren’t the only one experiencing pain and difficulty that helps you stick to the promises you made yourself.
Take it Easy but Don’t Quit
Everyone has off days and walking or exercising while you’re sick isn’t exactly fun. There is no shame in going easy on yourself for a day or two.
If you feel you need more time for your body to recover or you’re having a bad day there is no reason to go at it full throttle. Instead take it easy and walk less.
The important thing is to not quit. Even if you can only manage a minute of walking it’s better than quitting entirely.
If you quit you are essentially telling yourself that you have no self-control and discipline and all that you’ve accomplished so far was for nothing. Take it easy but by no means does that mean you should quit.
This time will allow you to recover and be better the next time you go out for your routine walk.
Switch It Up!
One common hurdle when walking is boredom. We all experience it, I personally love to jog but after 30 minutes are so I get annoyed by the same pace and routine on the treadmill.
One of the ways I find to reduce boredom when I am running on a treadmill is to use my music player to listen to music or catch up with a podcast. But that's difficult if your feet are hurting. Getting the right shoes for treadmill exercise is a help for that problem.
A great way to keep yourself going is to switch up your routine and environment. The same sites can become boring after a while so go explore other neighbourhoods, streets, or parks near you.
Every two weeks or so start walking on a different route for a new atmosphere. You can also drive to a different location and walk there for some time until you need a different location again.
I like driving up to hiking paths on weekends and enjoying a faster-paced more difficult walk.
You can also change your speed midway through your walk. If you are able, jog or speed-walk for a few feet once you start feeling like you want to quit. The rush of energy and adrenaline will make walking at a regular speed seem easier and motivate you to keep going.
If you are really becoming a pro, start walking up hills and stairs for an added level of difficulty.
Listen to Music or Podcasts
Who said walking can’t be fun and exciting?
Pop in those earphones turn on your favourite tunes and jam out while you go on your walk!
I usually have multiple playlists ranging from classical music to rock and hip-hop just depending on the mood I’m in at that moment.
A great way to encourage yourself during your walk is to listen to an inspiring podcast like those by Tony Robbins or Gary Vaynerchuk or maybe some uptempo music?
Having some kind of audio stimulation, whether it’s music or an informational podcast and even the daily news, really gives you the mental fuel to keep going.
Warm-Up Cool-Down and Dress Properly
Going full speed every time you go out for your daily walk is a great way to tire yourself and quickly fall of track.
I usually put aside two to five minutes to warm up my body and muscles putting my mind in the right place. I like to throw my hands and feet around for a few seconds then I may dance a little bit just to get my system going.
Once I’m done I make sure to set aside five or ten minutes just to stretch my body entirely. This helps me recover faster and allows my body to cool down before I shower and get ready for work or sleep, depending on whether I’m walking in the morning or before I go to bed.
It’s just as important to dress accordingly. Get high-quality clothing that won’t be irritating and leave a rash. Make sure you dress warmly and comfortably.
Change Your Mindset
When you start approaching your walking routine as an enjoyable part of your day and think of it as something that allows you to disconnect from your daily stresses, then your daily walk stops being a chore and becomes a fun activity you look forward to.
Remind yourself why you started walking in the first place and how you feel afterwards. Focus on how awful you feel when you don’t walk and record these thoughts.
Once you start to understand how walking makes you feel and how you benefit as a result of this daily activity, no hurdle can stop you from accomplishing your goals and developing a routine to last a lifetime.