Whether you live in the city or the suburbs, walking throughout the day is a great way to refresh the mind, get in some great cardiovascular exercise, and prepare for the day ahead. Of course, walking can take a considerable time out of your day.
Have you ever wondered how to turn your solo walking exercise more productive? Well, the time you spend walking can be extremely productive if you focus on learning something new, improving yourself, planning your day, catching up on calls and meetings, developing a side hustle, and exercising your creative juices.
Studies have shown how much more productive you can be after a brisk walk. So now let's build on that and find out how you can also be productive while you're walking.
Work on Self-Improvement and Learning Something New
Your solo walk is the best time to develop a new skill and improve aspects of your life you otherwise don’t have time to throughout the day.
Podcasts and audiobooks are perfect tools to effortlessly learn new things and develop your mind.
The average CEO will read about 50 books every year, that’s a book a week! To keep up with your busy schedule why not pop in some earphones and listen to the books I know have been on your wish-list for ages.
Listening to a podcast is the best thing to happen to my morning walks in a long time. I have several that I listen to on a regular basis and the best part is it’s all free!
Your favorite figures, comedians, cooks, and actors all have weekly podcasts. You can pretty much find a channel about any topic.
I love Gary Vaynerchuk’s and Tony Robbins’s podcasts especially. They give me a strong dose of inspiration and gratitude, which motivates me to tackle the day with the right mindset.
While you’re walking, your senses are heightened and as your brain activity increases so does your ability to memorize and digest new information. What better foundation to prepare you to learn a new language?
Apps like Duolingo are extremely versatile and with just 30 minutes a day walking lessons, you can finally learn French. Oui c’est vrai!
This is also a great time to catch up on the news and current affairs but I usually like to avoid that noise early in the morning.
Make Money While Walking
Making some extra cash is never bad and if you can somehow weave it into your regular routine, well all the better!
Dictate - Stuff for Work or your Next Blog
Rehearse a Presentation
If you are a dog person consider walking your neighbor’s dog every morning during your solo walk. Apps like WAG connect you with people in your area with dogs looking for walkers.
Why not walk a stranger’s dog for a few extra bucks?
Think of some other creative ways to make money while walking like voice recording content for a blog or client. If you live near a public beach, get a metal detector and look for coins and other valuable items.
Pretty soon your solo walking exercise can become your new side hustle.
If you have a big client pitch or meeting coming up and you want to be best prepared to address your employees, boss or colleagues try practicing while walking.
Feeling a little anxious is nothing to be ashamed of. If anything being extra prepared is better than forgetting what you have to say and reading off your Powerpoint Presentation.
Because walking improves your memory and your subconscious is much more active, you will better remember your pitch or speech if you practice while walking, as opposed to hyping yourself up in front of the mirror before the meeting.
Plan Your Day
Nearly every successful person has some kind of day planner or an ever-popular Bullet Journal, and for good reason.
Knowing exactly what you have to do throughout the day will best help you address your daily tasks and errands. Plus checking a box or crossing off something from a to-do list is more rewarding than eating healthy for a week… I’m sure that has been scientifically proven.
As you’re getting in your walking cardio, try listing all the things you want to accomplish in the day. Using voice recording or Siri if you have to.
I like making a list of top ten priorities I have to get done before I sleep, a goal I would like to accomplish, and what motivates me.
You can also create a grocery list and go over the personal errands you have to handle.
According to Warrant Buffet, “an idiot with a plan can beat a genius without one”. Not that you’re an idiot, I just meant… I mean… forget it, you know what I’m trying to say.
Catch-up with Family and Friends
You have been meaning to give Nana a call, especially after she baked those delicious cookies for you at Christmas, it’s just you haven't had the time. Well, your 15-minute morning walk is the perfect time to give her a call.
As a matter of fact, take the first few minutes of your walk to call friends and family. The time you dedicate to them will be appreciated and will prove rewarding in developing strong relationships.
Because of the daily social interaction with the ones you love your overall mood will drastically improve setting the right tone for the day.
Ain't that a great idea?
Have a Meeting
Sitting in a board meeting or a conference call can feel like the most dreadful part of the day. Sitting in a closed office space with poor lighting and listening to your boss over a speakerphone as his voice cuts every 30 seconds, isn’t exactly a productive use of work time.
You can take meetings on the go as you take your routine walk. Just ask your team and colleagues to hook you up via some audio or video communication software whether it’s a regular call or Skype.
If you just have to meet with one person and don’t mind the company you can have someone join you and have a walking meeting. I know, I know, it’s a solo walk but humor me for a minute.
Walking meetings are becoming increasingly more popular among executives and professionals. Mark Zuckerberg swears by them and legend has it the late Steve Jobs was also a proponent of meetings on the go.
There is a certain level of friendliness and intimacy during a walk that bridges any walls and awkwardness, allowing for a more open and honest discussion.
Improve Your Neighborhood
One unorthodox way to make your daily solo walking exercise more productive is to clean up your surroundings as you go.
The sidewalks and streets in your neighborhood can be littered with plastic bags, cigarette buds, and empty Starbucks cups.
If you want to contribute to the community and give back, put on a pair of disposable gloves and collect trash during your walk. Or better still get one of those sticks with a grab end and a bag and keep your hands clean.
You’ll end up feeling gratified and your neighborhood will be a cleaner, nicer place as a result.
Visualize and Exercise Your Creative Muscles
Fresh air and exercise are the perfect recipe for good art.
If you’re feeling in a bit of a creative slump and can’t seem to produce any content, art, literature, or whatever creative outlet you apply yourself to, then taking a walk can definitely improve that.
It’s not just the walk, you also have to visualize your surrounding and become an active part of nature or the environment you are in.
Forget about work and your problems. Use this time to really relax as if you’re entering a meditative state. Take it all in and absorb the world around you, this will unleash your creativity once more.
This technique of active visualization is great for anyone that needs to use creativity throughout the day, whether you’re an artist, an actor, or an engineer.
I first heard about priming exercises from the motivational figure Tony Robbins made famous the world over.
Tony describes allocating a certain period of the morning to active priming in which you engage your body in some kind of physical exercise and focus deeply on a single goal you want to accomplish during the day and a single thing you are grateful for.
A great way to prime your mind is to do a similar exercise during your solo walk.