How do I motivate myself to walk for fitness?

The best motivation for fitness is an intrinsic goal or doing it for yourself. While an extrinsic goal or something motivated by outside factors will push someone to accomplish it. Typically someone with an intrinsic goal will reach their goal and maintain it. So to motivate yourself to walk for fitness find a reason that is internal not because someone told you to.

Motivation, if I could bottle it and sell it, I'd be very wealthy. Here are a few tips:

1. Take inspiring music with you.  It will make your workout more fun.  Vary your exercise music, and if possible use the shuffle button so that you don't what song is coming next.

2.  Focus on the results that you want, (i.e. weight loss, improved fitness).

3.  Go for 5 minutes.  Tell yourself if you still don't want to walk, you'll stop.  After 5 minutes,  you'll probably feel like finishing your workout.

4.  Find a buddy to walk with.  Studies have shown that people who exercise with a friend are more likely to stick with their exercise.  You might not make it outside on a cold/rainy day, but if you know your friend is waiting for you on the corner, you won't want to stand him/her up.

Keep your eye on the prize! Remember why you are doing it and take your dog or a friend with you. Picture how you will look or feel when you get to your goal (whatever that is for you) and keep your eye on that. 

Everyone has different ways to motivate themselves. Below is a list of some ways that may help motivate you:

  • Do it because you know the benefits of activity outweigh not being active
  • Find music that will motivate you
  • Sign up for an event that will push you to stick to a train regimen
  • Setup a walking calendar listing days you MUST walk
  • Walk with a neighbor or friend, this will help keep your motivated

Most of all do it for you! Being active will help lead to a healthy lifestyle and a life worth living!\

Staness Jonekos
Health Education

Associate walking with something fun like listening to music!  Research has shown that when people exercise by walking, they walk 30% longer if they walk to music.  Load up your ipod with upbeat tunes and burn some calories!



A lack of motivation is the number one reason why many people claim they do not exercise. When given a choice after a long day at work to come home and either sit down and relax for the rest of the night or to go out and walk for 30 minutes, many people chose to sit down and relax. It is understandable, you are tired, your feet hurt, and you have been up all day working hard. It is not easy to find the self motivation when you are drained of energy.

One way of motivating yourself to get out and walk is to find a walking partner. It is easier to get out and walk if you have someone else to do it with. You can be there to support each other and to motivate one another.

Another way to motivate yourself is to set realistic goals and reward yourself when you have achieved them. Start small, walk for 10 or 15 minutes and when you are done be proud! Treat yourself to a delicous smoothie or after 2 weeks of walking 5 days a week you decide you will buy yourself that dress you have been eyeing at the mall for the last 6 months! Create goals and achieve them, and you will find yourself more motivated to continue your exercise regimen!

And last but not least, set a schedule. Knowing when you have time to workout takes a lot of the decision making out of the process. If you know Monday, Wednesday, and Fridays you have an hour to work out in the morning, then you set that time apart for that and treat it just like you would if you had a doctors appointment or something important to attend to.

Once walking starts becoming a habit you will find that you do have the self motivation to walk for fitness and you will find yourself enjoying it and wanting to do it more!

The best thing you can do is write down your goals! Walking helps to decrease the symptoms of daily stress as well as increase your stamina and cardiovascular endurance (particularly if this is your chosen form of exercise). So put pen to paper and write those goals down. Then make sure you tell others of your goal and your plan. For example, your goal can be to lose 10 pounds in 2 months and your plan would be to walk for 1 hour 6 days a week. This way your friends and loved ones can hold you accountable and help keep you motivated. Set your days and times for walking and make it an unbreakable appointment. If people want to talk with you or take up your walking time then have them strap on some walking shoes and join you. Also, keep a journal of your progress. Log how far your walking and how you feel before and after each walk. As always, track your goal progress, such as how many pounds you have lost. Seeing progress on paper is another great motivator!

Enjoyment is the key to success.  If you are unable to stay motivated during a fitness walk then try these tricks of the trade:

Find a partner who has the same fitness goals

Have an important topic which you reserve to think about/discuss/contemplate during your walks

Have a destination--sometimes individuals find it boring to walk in circles (track/neighborhood).  Pick a location, maybe a store you need something small from several times a week

Keep your walks entertaining and keep yourself motivated.  Hope this helps

That is a great question! First ask yourself what you want to achieve? Next, is walking something that appeals to you? Will it get you closer to your goal? If you can answer yes to these two then you're on your way. Another question, can you hold yourself accountable? There are a couple of options if you have trouble doing that. You can find a walking buddy or a walking group or you can commit to someone (a partner, spouse, friend, etc) with your walking plans. The great part about walking is that you can do it just about anywhere! Walking outside is a great way to get some fresh air, change the scenery a bit and clear your mind. If you’re walking on your treadmill at home or at the gym, load up your iPod with your favorite music! I recommend making a playlist that lasts as long as your walk. Before your walking sessions, remind yourself why you are doing it and know that following through consistently will get you closer to you goal!

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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.