How can I make walking a habit?

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  • 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.
  • 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 pal with whom you check in every day, by phone or online. If your pal doesn't get your daily "I just walked" message, he or she knows to give you a get-going poke.
  • Add some fun. Dying to play Boggle on your smartphone? Head outdoors or hop on the treadmill, and think up words while you walk. Addicted to recorded romance novels? Listen to them only while you stride along (just don't run into anything when it gets steamy!). Whatever makes walking more fun for you, do it!
  • Keep track. A walking log, a pedometer, even a little notation in your calendar -- it's all good. That's because keeping track of your miles and goals increases your odds of sticking to your plan..
  • Reward yourself. We're all for bribery when it comes to exercise. Give yourself a walking goal of, say, 10 miles per week for a month, or 60 minutes a day for a week -- and if you're successful, treat yourself to a massage or a gotta-see-it movie or a new MP3 player for your walking tunes or recorded books.

    An easy way to assist in making walking a habit will be to create a walking log and walking calendar. These two items will assist in creating successful habits. A walking log will allow you to log each walk. The logs may be as simple as, I walked 10,000 steps today, or I walked 5 miles. You may add more detail if you would like but this will not be required

    A walking calendar will allow you to set goals. In order to be successful, you must set goals for yourself. You need to be sure you have something to work towards or your success may not be as likely. Focusing to walk 10,000 steps a day is a great starting goal. From there, use your calendar to mark off when your goal must be completed and build your walks until that time!

    Enjoy!

    Once you start walking you have already accomplished the hardest part, now to keep it going is another thing. Start by scheduling time to walk, get used to going the same time every day so it becomes the normal, we schedule everything in our lives why not fitness? Bring a buddy, walking is a perfect way to catch up and unwind. Add different scenery, visit different parks and trails explore your surroundings and as you pass people smile and say hi! Have fun; listen to your favorite music or novel. Last but most important... REWARD YOURSELF!!! Set milestones and for each accomplishment do something nice for you.

    If you think about it, walking is probably already a habit for you. Maybe just not in the way you think... If you attached a pedometer to yourself and kept track of your daily steps just in your regular activities, I bet you'd be surprised at how far you've gone! A habit is something we do without much thought. For some, focusing on walking for exercise sake alone may be a little daunting. So to make it a 'habit' and reap the benefits of walking for fitness, add some steps to your pedometer by making small changes in your daily activity, such as; take the steps at work instead of the elevator, park farther from the front door -wherever you go-, during a break take a walk to visit a colleague, or walk to a water cooler that is farther from your work space. Those extra steps will add up, you'll be feeling better, and you'll want to make time for that long walk aside from daily activities. Before you know it, you'll have a new fitness habit!

    Continue Learning about Walking

    Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.