5 ways to make walking a habit

Get tips to make taking regular walks a lifelong habit.

young woman and dog walk along bridge

Updated on March 5, 2024.

1. Schedule it. If you treat walking as an automatic "must" on your daily list—like brushing your teeth or taking your vitamins—then there's no debate about whether you will or won't do it. Before long, it'll be a rock-solid habit.

2. Get a buddy. Having a friend (human or furry) waiting for you to take a walk gets you out there day after day. Your walking "buddy" doesn't even have to be somebody you see. It can be a friend with whom you check in every day, by phone or online. If your friend doesn't get your daily "I just walked" message, he or she knows to give you a get-going reminder.

3. Add some fun. Dying to play a game on your smartphone? Head outdoors and think up words while you walk. Addicted to music? Listen to it only while you stride along. Whatever makes walking more fun for you, do it!

4. Keep track. Whether it's a walking log or a little notation in your calendar—it can work. That's because keeping track of your miles and goals increases your odds of sticking to your plan.

5. Reward yourself. Give yourself a walking goal of, say, 10 miles per week for a month, or 60 minutes a day for a week. If you're successful, treat yourself to a soothing bath, a good book, or a favorite TV show.

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