You know that walking is a great exercise, a great way to get active, but maybe you become bored easily and all you want is to find ways to beat boredom while walking. Your treadmill starts to gather dust, and you’re tired of doing laps around your local park. Needless to say, for some of us to own an expensive gym gear or to have a gym membership is too much and also for those who are very busy, so the best workout option is to go for a walk. Where? That is totally depending on you and your surroundings.
You might stop making excuses if you thought about what you were missing. Walking for at least 21 minutes a day can cut your risk of heart disease by 30%, according to Harvard Medical School. For every 30 minutes, you walk at a moderate pace, you burn about 200 calories while enhancing your circulation and brightening your mood. Plus, it’s free and requires no equipment.
Break up the monotony that stands between you and your walking program. Let these challenges and distractions help you walk your way to the fitness you desire.
Challenges to Make Walking More Fun
Set a goal
You’ll look forward to your walk when you focus on your purpose. Maybe you want to lose weight or condition your heart. Maybe you’re inspired by studies that show how walking slows down mental decline associated with ageing. Setting up a goal will definitely keep you focused and will help you to enjoy your walking. Out there are so many challenges, events or charity walks that will help you to pursue your goal. Remember that setting a goal is individual and it is based on your current physical level.
Work out in intervals
Here are some ideas on how to use walking intervals:
Add some fresh moves. Vary your pace to make walking more interesting and productive. The idea is simple. You should start with a slow walk for a few minutes then move it to a regular walk, again for a few minutes continuing with a moderate walk and finish with the fastest walking speed you can for a few minutes before slowing down to the slow walk.
While working out in intervals, you should focus on the time – walk a slow walk for 5 min then switch to regular walk for 4 minutes, moderate for 3 minutes and fast for 2 minutes, then start all again.
Also, you could focus on changing your speed when you hit a specific landmark. As an example from a telephone pole to the next one, use a slow walk. From one big tree to the next big tree, use a regular walk and so on.
Another idea is to change your speed depending on the terrain. Speed your walk when you are on a short hill, that will increase your cardiovascular output and also your endurance.
Before you are going pout for a walk, do your research the path/trail and see how you can use all these ideas to make you beat the boredom while walking.
There is some app that can help you with the intervals.
For Apple and Android, you can use Weight Loss Walking by Verv
Cost: $10 a month, $42 for six months, $60 for a lifetime subscription
Weight Loss Walking by Verv is for you if you want to keep track of your workout. You will have a three-month training program for various levels (both indoor and outdoor) that can help you increase pace and steps and reach your goals. You can also map your walks with GPS, listen to audio instructions to each training, and get detailed stats. Plus, you’ll get dozens of tips on walking, healthy eating, and changing your lifestyle. This is a perfect app for you to stay on top of your training.
Stop for exercise
If you find it hard to beat the boredom while you are walking but you do not want to change your route, try to stop and do some exercises while you are walking. In this way, you can give your body a bit of the strength to your muscle and body. Give your upper body some attention, your body deserves it.
Some ideas of exercises you can do while out there walking :
- While hand weights can be tough on your joints, there are some ways to sculpt your arms and shoulders. Bring along an exercise band for arm circles and shoulder presses.
- While out there walking, find a tree and lean your weight against that tree and your hands straight out in front of you. Lower your body down and push yourself back. Do this for 5 to 10 and then start walking again.
- You can do jumping jacks, walking lunges, squats and so on. Remember, do what is good for your body. Recently I have seen people doing some animal exercises while they were walking. And what a fun way to make yourself enjoy walking.
If you think walking is too easy, take it up a notch. Set your treadmill to a steep incline. Climb stairs or hike up a mountain. I always prefer up the forest, uphill or mountains as the quietness and clean air helps even better to work on my mind as well as my body.
Do your research when you are planning your walks and try all kinds of terrains. And choose the one that is perfect for you. In my opinion, you should do all types of terrain, but I know people who do not like to go up the hills or mountains. So it is totally fine if you prefer flat land, just make sure you try out different options before deciding.
Distractions to Make Walking More Fun
Walking is one of the best ways to lose weight and get in shape. However, it is also easy to hit a plateau. Once you’ve reached your initial goals it can be easy to rest and even quit. But it is more fun and rewarding to take your walking program to the next level. Here are five great ways to amplify your walking program.
Speed It Up
How long does it take you to walk? What is your average pace? Spend a few days assessing your current pace. Once you know how fast you walk, create a speed goal. Aim to finish your walk faster. It is quite significant to reduce your pace by one minute per mile. If you’re walking for five miles you’re increasing your pace by five minutes.
Find a buddy
- Spend more time with your spouse or kids by taking a walk together.
- Invite a neighbour or coworker to join you for a morning or lunchtime outing.
- If you know a friend who lives along your walk, tell them that you may be passing their house in that specific day and you could stop to say hi or to have a short break for a cup of tea or coffee. Also, you could ask them if they want to join you.
Join a group
- If walking with one partner is more fun, how about a whole group? Check Meetup listings or post a notice at your favourite coffee shop.
- Do research on Facebook and find out some groups with walking events and sign up for them.
Listen to music
Play your favourite tunes or listen to an audiobook. This will help you to lose some steam while walking. Studies prove that music reduces perceived effort so you’re likely to walk faster and longer without even noticing the extra effort.
There are a few music apps you can use if you do not have any playlist on your phone. Recently I have found a free one, esound It is free. But also, if you want some more there are some more, many of them you may have to pay a monthly fee. Sometimes I am using Apple Music or Spotify.
Vary your route and change your schedule
- A change of scenery is bound to do you good. Take your daily constitutional to a shopping district where you can admire the store windows. Saunter through a public garden or the sculpture court of an art museum.
- Any activity may be more appealing if you fit it into the time when you’re at peak performance.
- You could try to change your time of going out. As an example, if you are going out in the afternoon, try to go out first thing in the morning. you may find the route a bit different. Or…
- See if walking after dinner feels different from an early morning outing.
Bring your dog
Your dog is an expert on how to appreciate a good walk. Share his enthusiasm for checking out new sights and sounds. Play with him while you are out. He will love you even more.
Be a photographer
Taking pictures while walking can be a fun way to improve your creativity and to see the surroundings with fresh eyes. But, when you are planning your activity, try asking yourself a theme. As an example: on today’s walk, try photographing as many trees as possible, or as many different flowers or birds. The most time I love to go out for photography is the golden hour. That time of the day is amazing to take photographs.
Think of anything else instead of steps
If you like to listen to audio-books or podcasts you may have more fun while walking if change the way you are thinking about keeping track of the steps. As an example, instead of planning to do 3 miles commit to walking for 1 chapter of the audio-book or 30 min episode of the favourite podcast. This sounds and it is fun.
Another way to take your walking program to the next level is to add weights. You can add weight to your ankles or wrists for extra resistance. You can also wear a weight vest or backpack. Adding resistance to your walking program will help build muscle and burn fat. You’ll be surprised how much a little weight will add to your walking workout. However, take care to not add too much weight. It can modify your stride and cause injury.
Take advantage of what is out there to improve yourself and your knowledge. Amazon has a wide variety of audio-books and Apple has a lot of podcasts. Learn a new language, new skills. Do you need to learn how to be a good salesman, or do you need to learn marketing? Think about what do you need, what skills do you need to make your job better and easier.
There is a large range of audio-books and podcasts that are focusing on business or any work issues. Today is easier than ever to learn anything you want.
You may think about what an absurd idea, but think about it. While walking I have the best ideas on how to do some things, and I have found that if I do not write it down when the ideas are in my head, they will disappear. So I have to write them down. Most all the smartphones have very good voice-to-text apps that will turn your words into texts. Imagine that in this way you can actually write a novel.
Evernote for Apple is the top app to use for voice-to-text.
Otter Voice Meeting Notes for android is the most ranked app for voice-to-text.
Other Tips to Overcome Boredom
Meditation gives us a wide variety of benefits. All we need to do is to use meditation time in our walks. These benefits are: reducing stress, anxiety, blood pressure, risk of depression and some pain ( injuries pain), but the most important it improves memory and brain functioning.
While you won’t reach top speeds, walking meditation can be a pleasant way to experience the joys of movement. Pace around your back yard or living room while you chant mantras or focus on your breath. Also, while out there walking, try to focus on your breathing. Sometimes I breathe in for 5 steps and then breath out for 4 steps. This helps me breathe properly on my walks and it helps me with my heart. Hug a tree if you feel like doing it.
All around the country there are walking events. Many of them are designed to raise money for charity. This is a great way to take your walking program to a whole new level and help someone else at the same time. For example, the Susan G Komen foundation has a three-day cure event where participants walk sixty miles over three days. Training for that will really help you get into shape!
If you want to take your walking for a fitness program to the next level there are many opportunities. Create a new goal and use your tools and resources to continue achieving fitness success. There are many charity walks events. Just research on google to find the one that is close to you.
While walking I have found the best time to think of any problem I have, or I am stuck with some dilemma, work-related or not and not the last, if I have a family issue this is the best moment to find a solution for any of this. It is all known that walking is having a positive effect on the mind and body. Not sure about you, but walking gave me more time to think and analyse problems in my life which resulted in finding excellent solutions for them.
While walking in nature, it gives us the opportunity to get lost in our own world and in this way you may explore new ideas, improve your creativity, solve your problems learning new things and improve your IQ and so on. And not the last benefit, is going out there alone and talk to God.
I have found really helpful with my anxiety to practice gratitude while I am out there walking. What I mean is, while out there you can take a moment to acknowledge all you have and give a big thanks for all of them. People who give thanks for all they have, are happier than those who don’t. Just, give thanks too because you are still alive, you have a job, and so on.
WOW, with all these restrictions and this virus threat, I am grateful that I am still able to go out for a walk most days.
Also, you can spread happiness along the way. I have noticed on my walks, that the more I say hello to everybody I meet, the more smile I receive back. This makes my days. I know that there are many people who are in a bad place, so saying to them hello and smile to them, probably I will make their day too.
Try A New Type Of Walking
There are actually several different types of walking. You’re probably doing a basic fitness walking program. To take your walking to the next level you might consider:
- Nordic walking
It is originated in Finland. This type of walk is working the whole body but is being easy in the joints and the heart. You need to use the poles. The poles will help you all the way in giving you a great workout that doesn’t make you feel exhausted. For more information and how to sign up for this, visit Nordic Walking Uk
- Race Walking
Race walking is a bit different from any other form of walking. The idea is you must keep one foot on the ground at all times. So, if you are not keeping one foot on the ground all the time, you get 1 point. At 3 points, you are out of the race. There are UK events for every age and ability, over a range of distances. For more information and how to sign up for this, visit Race Walking UK
- Walking Rugby
Walking rugby is all about teamwork, tactics and ball-handling skills. It is a lot of fun and people who use this as a form of walking are enjoying it because their body accepts it as a form of workout. It is non-contact so you should not be worry that you may get hurt. For more information, visit Walking Rugby
- Walking Basketball
Walking basketball is not less fun than the original basketball. It is a great walkout and it has a low impact. What is great about this, is that it challenging your mind to work in a team. For more information, visit Walking Basketball
- Walking Football
While doing all the research on different types of walking, I have made up my mind about one type of walking. And, this is Walking Football. So I have decided to sign up for this, but I have to wait until this Coronavirus issue is ended. So, what is walking football? It is played in a small pitch and this type of walking makes it ideal for people with injuries or health issues. For more information, visit Walking Football or go here to find a team around you
A way to thank nature for its beautiful landscape is to clean up after you and to clean up the routes you are walking on. Put some gloves and a plastic trash bag in your rucksack and pick up any cans, plastic bottles, the paper you see along the way. Nature will thank you.
How to make walking fun for your kids
So, you are taking your kids with you for a walk, at first, they seemed ok with it. You had a few fun walks with them, but after a while, they started to whine during the walks. Don’t worry. There are some activities that you can do with them helping them to stay interested and engaged.
Classic travel games work just perfect when you are out for a walk. You can try to have 1-2 activities on every walk, depends on the walk length. If it is a short walk, one activity is enough, if you choose to go for a long walk, 2 activities are enough, but have another activity prepared just in case they get bored with the first 2.
I have found a cool video about some activities you can do with your kids while out there for a walk. Check it out:
ANIMAL EXERCISES FOR KIDS 🦀 🐸 🐵 🐱 Great way to burn off energy and can be done indoors too 😉See them all here: https://www.hellowonderful.co/post/animal-exercises-for-kids/
Posted by hello, Wonderful on Tuesday, March 17, 2020
Walking can be fun. Find creative ways to make your walks more challenging and engaging so you’ll stay motivated and enjoy your workout.
Whether you are more of a fast and energetic person or just a more laid back slower walker, there are options and possibilities for every one of us to spice up the walking routine and to keep us motivated. Although, we are all faced in one way or another with the effects of Corona pandemic, thank God we are lucky enough to be able and allowed to take one walk a day for exercise. So, take advantage of that and make the most out of your walks.
Remember, keep the distance between you and others and stay safe.
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Until next time, Oana and Paula