Walk the walk

woman wearing black and white striped maxi skirt holding brown bag
Photo by Artem Beliaikin on Pexels.com

 

Walking is one of those great exercises that no matter the level of health someone is at, ALMOST everyone can do it… You really can’t say that about much. We are all different people with different needs and abilities. And it can be worthwhile to your health whether you are just adding a few extra steps here and there or you start a full blown walking regimen. Also for most it’s pretty cheap, minus maybe the cost of shoes/workout clothes (if you don’t already have something that works) then it’s free if you do it outside. If you cannot do it outside there are marching/step-exercises that you can do at home (which minus the cost of maybe a DVD and/or a step-master is also free). Or if you really have no space to do that but just enough room for a treadmill then well minus the cost of the treadmill. There are even a lot of places that you can walk around instead of buying equipment, so if it’s bad weather that you are worried about you may still be able to walk. What I am trying to say is that unless you really want to, this is an exercise that you can do without joining a gym or signing up for some program…

There are four reasons that I can think of why it’s great that you can do this without having to join a specific group or buying a gym memberships

  1.  The Moolah $$$: memberships can be expensive
  2. Bad Form: through my research I have seen many physicians/professionals state that is unnatural for your gate/posture/body to walk on treadmills and it is always better to walk on real terrain, so the machines you are paying the big bucks to use to help your health may be negatively affecting it. (Although most doctors agree that exercise on a machine is better than no exercise at all)
  3. The Social Aspect: If you feel as though you need to look a certain way at the gym or if you have anxiety about socializing you may avoid going to the gym
  4. Extra steps are more steps in your way: If there is an extra step you need to take –such as drive to the gym, dress a certain way for the gym, check in with staff, meet up with someone– well you may not take that extra step because you’re tired, or the weather is bad etc.) I don’t know about you but if I have to put any extra effort such as meet someone at the gym and drive to that gym at a certain time… well I then I will make the excuse not to exercise at all.

So the fact that walking is a helpful exercise and so easily accessible to so many it may be a good option for you.

Maybe you are someone like me that can find any excuse not to exercise, or maybe you have certain factors that makes exercise hard… well here’s how to make walking seem a little less like exercise and make it happen even when it seems unlikely to.

Trick yourself with an app/game/challenge:

There are many apps that track your walking progress some are simple keep track of steps some map routes some go with stories some challenge and compare to friends. You can even do this without an app or program and challenge yourself block by block. The following are websites or apps that might help if this is appealing to you with a little description of each. Some are silly fun, some are serious challenges, and some just inspire the geekiest of us.

  • Pokemon Go (app): Interactive Pokemon app, in order to complete challenges and hatch/find Pokemon there is a lot of walking.
  • Wizards Unite (app): Interactive Harry Potter app, in order to complete challenges, and open Portkeys/find elements you have to walk.
  • Walk the Distance (app): Maps out the distance of things like the “Appalachian Trail” as well as other well known locations.
  • Zombies Run (app): Listen to a story and avoid pretend zombies from attacking you by walking/running certain routes.
  • The Walk (app): Similar to Zombies Run, this is an interactive story where your survival (and the continuation of the story) depends on the length of time/miles that you walk/run.
  • Walk to Mordor (app): Ever wanted to feel like you are part of the Fellowship in Lord of the Rings, or question how long that walk must have really been? Well you can do it yourself with this app.

(Like the idea of these but none of them are really your thing? Well then do some digging, I know there are more out there, these are just the ones I know of!)

More visual? Try these:

  • Map My walk (app)
  • Walkscore.com (https://www.walkscore.com/) This is more to check out the walkability of our neighborhood and how easily accessible it is to walk to certain locations in your area.

Motivated more by helping others? :

  • Charity Miles (app)
  • Virtual Strides (www.virtualstrides.com) This is a website you sign up for a race that you do on any day of your choosing anywhere just before the deadline to help out specific charities. (There are other sites like this out there but this was the one that I knew off the top of my head.)
  • Active.com (https://www.active.com/) you can use this website to look for local charity walks in your community

Motivate with music:

Maybe you just need a simple beat, maybe you want to feel like a badass in a movie walking away from explosions, maybe you are someone who is motivated to walk out your thoughts by being contemplative and listening to mellow music. You can listen to the radio, make a playlist for yourself or even listen to a playlist made by someone else that fits your motivating theme/mood. If the thought of trying to create a playlist or even find a playlist is one of those “extra steps” that will keep you from starting but you still want a  good playlist then below are some playlists created by others on Spotify that you might want to check out.

For the badass:

  • Walking away from explosions by jermyn84
  • Walk like a Badass by siebsquip
  • Walk like you own the Place by Spotify

For the introspective:

  • A Walk Alone by Spotify
  • Sunday Stroll by Spotify

For some bounce in your step:

  • Walking Playlist by SimonNg
  • Power Walking by Bodil Johansson

(Or find a Podcast you’ve been meaning to listen to or an audio book, maybe listen  and learn a language as you walk.)

Can’t do it alone?:

If you are someone who just can’t bare to be walking alone then here are some possible ideas…

  • Meet up with a friend (you can walk the neighborhood, walk a trail/boardwalk, walk the mall, or gasp yes you could go to the gym)
  • Buy an exercise DVD such as Leslie Sansone’s (yes you are still technically alone but having someone talking you through your process can sometimes help)
  • Walk someone’s dog (if you have a dog you should already be doing this those little floofers need their exercise! ha, but maybe you can help out a friend who is very busy or has stuff going on, or become a dog walker on the side and earn some extra cash)
  • Walk with someone via an app
  • Chat on the phone (just try not to be too loud and obnoxious walking down a neighborhood street)
  • Do walks for charity or join a gym.

So see there are lots of ways to walk and get motivated to walk /trick yourself into walking.

If you have issues with your gate/uneven walking you may want to go to a specialty running store and have them do some measurements for proper shoes or see a physical therapist/doctor.

 

 

YOU GOT THIS!

-Heather

 

 

Resources (these are all included in the body of the post but for easy copy & paste/print here they are listed again without all the verbiage)

For Apps search in your App or Google Play stores:

  • Pokemon Go
  • Wizards Unite
  • Walk the Distance
  • Zombies Run
  • The Walk
  • Walk to Mordor
  • Map My walk
  • Charity Miles
  • Spotify (for the music playlists, free or minimal cost if going ad-free)

Websites:

Spotify Playlists:

  • Walking away from explosions by jermyn84
  • Walk like a Badass by siebsquip
  • Walk like you own the Place by Spotify
  • A Walk Alone by Spotify
  • Sunday Stroll by Spotify
  • Walking Playlist by SimonNg
  • Power Walking by Bodil Johansson

 

 

 

 

 

 

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