4 Ways to Make Time for Walking

Making time for fitness isn’t always easy, but these folks make walking and weight loss a priority, no matter what

Walking and weight loss often go hand-in-hand, but many people think they don’t have the time. To help inspire you to find time to walk, we asked avid walkers how they make time for fitness. Here’s what they said:

1. Do it first thing
"My best walking time turns out to be right after my kids head off to school. I walk with two neighbors, and we fit it in before our days really get going and it becomes too hard for us to stop and walk. My husband is typically out the door by then, too, so I know that when I get back, the house will be all mine. I come back feeling 'up' and ready to get to my desk."

-- Nancy Young, 52, mom/home-based public relations consultant

2. Carry out your plan

"I plan my family dinners in advance, and I plan my walking in advance. If I plan it, I do it. It's taken me a while to figure this out, but it works. I also have four regular walking friends, and I rotate among them. I'm the catalyst. They count on me to get them going, so even if I'm having a super-busy day, I know I need to call and get in a walk for both of us. If it is raining or frigid, I jump on the treadmill and just do it—even if I'm out of town. Last week I went away, and I walked on the hotel's treadmill from 4:30 to 5:30 while my friends headed for the free happy hour. I didn't feel deprived; I just joined them afterwards!"

-- Lillian Hayes Martin, 43, mom/freelance project manager

3. Depend on a friend
"The fact that I have a dog, Lily, gets me out—three times a day, every day. My walks revolve around when she needs to be walked—before work, after work and at night. Since she's rehabilitating from knee surgery, she's needed steady 20-minute walks instead of a couple of quickies, plus a few 3- or 4-mile walks each week. These are really good for me, too. I'm the thinnest I've ever been since we started this routine. It's helped me more than hour-long sessions on the elliptical or the spinning bike."

-- Elizabeth Albright, 32, high school English/journalism teacher

4. Make it an after-work habit

"I walk as soon as I get home from work so I don't get involved in other things. I usually have a friend waiting for me, and her dog is chomping at the bit to go, so I feel guilty if I even stop at the grocery store or get gas on the way home! Going to a gym was always a pain, but, somehow, walking isn't. I get home, instantly change clothes and walk out the door for a 2 1/2-mile loop in my neighborhood—5 days a week, and sometimes on the weekend, too. For whatever reason—habit, sanity, guilt—I keep doing it!"

-- Nancy Reding, 47, mom/office manager

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