Walking is one of the easiest and convenient ways to be active, to get fit, to lose weight and to be healthier. Studies have shown that walking reduces the risk of heart diseases, diabetes and some cancers.
How to stay motivated?
Set realistic and achievable goals – Personal goals can help you be focused and keep you walking. Keep a time limit to achieve goals. Let your friends and family know about your goals. In this way, they will encourage and motivate you to reach your goals.
Making walking enjoyable – Walk with a friend or a group of friends or with your spouse or family. Or you can join a walking group.
Try different routes – There is a tendency of getting bored if you walk on the same routes. Try the different routes but make sure you tell your family the routes.
Walk the dog – Walking with the dog is a great motivator to get some exercise for yourself. If you do not own a dog, offer a neighbour or a friend to walk their dog.
Listen to music – Keep your favourite songs in a mp3 player or ipod and listen to them while walking. Music can be a great motivator for your work out.
Make walking a part of your routine – Incorporate walking in your daily life. You will be in less need of motivation as walking will become a natural activity you do all the time.
Track your progress – You can keep a track of distance you have walked, the steps you have taken or the calories burnt by using the apps in a smart phone. You can also use a diary or a notebook to track your progress.
Some tips to get the best out of your walks –
• Before you start your walk, stretch and warm up for five minutes to loosen the muscles.
• Walk comfortable shoes when you head out for a walk. They should be cushioned, well ventilated, flexible with a firm heel.
• Try to head towards the hills. If possible, add some incline to your walking routine. It helps you to tone your muscles, burns more calories and fat.
• Vary the length, the intensity and speed of your walks.
• Swing your arms in time with your stride.
Once you take that first step, you're on the way to an important destination - better health.