Tips to Keep Walking a Part of Your Daily Routine
Here are some tips to keep walking whether you participated in the Spring 8-Week Walking Challenge or just need some help to get back on track.
The Spring 8-Week Walking Challenge ended a couple of months ago. During the challenge, participants worked diligently to create a healthy habit of walking over the course of eight weeks. The goal was to keep up those daily walking habits long after the challenge ended.
We compiled some tips to help you stay motivated to keep walking, particularly in the summer heat.
Make It Easy to Go For Your Walk
Schedule time on your calendar for your walk each day the way you would any other appointment. Set your shoes by the door. Fill your water bottle and have it ready to go.
Get Some New Workout Attire
Invest in a new hat, a moisture-wicking T-shirt, new sunglasses, and good socks. Create a new playlist for your walk, download an audiobook you’ve always wanted to read, or find a new podcast that interests you. Try a new healthy drink or snack that you can enjoy on your walk or when you are finished.
Find an Accountability Partner
Ask a neighbor, spouse, or even your child to take a walk with you sometime. It will help you get out the door when you’re not feeling motivated. You can also schedule a phone call with distant friends or relatives and plan to walk at the same time, even if you’re not in the same place. Or simply ask someone to check in with you on a given day to see if you’ve walked.
Try Signing Up for a Walking Group
If you don’t know any other walkers nearby, try meetup.com or Arlington County Parks & Recreation which offers many opportunities to walk with others, including a 55+ Walking Group, history walks, and nature-themed walks. Other healthy and active opportunities include:
Get a Fitness Tracker or Keep Track of Your Progress Using a Journal, Calendar, or Dry-Erase Board
There are lots of fitness and wellness journals you can use to track your walks. Find one that you really like that you’ll enjoy using. It will feel good to look back on your progress as you keep adding new walks to your log.
Find New Ways to Care For and Reward Yourself after a Week of Walking
For instance, give yourself a foot soak once a week. It doesn’t have to be expensive. You can make your own foot soak with everyday items, such as baking soda, Epsom salt, olive oil, and cider vinegar. Remember to pick up something the next time you go to the grocery store.
Write Down Specific Goals for Yourself That Include Walking
This may mean resuming your daily walks if you haven’t been keeping up, registering to walk a 5K or other event, walking up hills, or incorporating strength exercises in your routine. You may also want to get a set of Nordic walking poles, try racewalking, or be creative and come up with ways to modify and enhance your walks that will challenge you and that you will enjoy.
Try Going on a “Moonwalk” or a Sunrise or Sunset Walk
There is arguably nothing more peaceful than enjoying a full moon, sunrise, or sunset. You can easily find out when sunrise and sunset will be or when we’ll have the next full moon. Plan to walk at one of these times once a week to experience natural beauty.
Plogging means that you go for a walk or a run and pick up trash on the way. This is a great way to do some good and get in your walk. All you need is a trash bag, some rubber gloves, and your own two feet. You’ll be amazed by how much you can collect in an hour. It’s really satisfying to hoist a big bag of trash into a trash bin when you’re done. Pro tip: Take two bags so you have one for trash and one for recycling.
Walk Somewhere New Each Week
Your walks can be all about making new discoveries. Set aside one day each week (or one day each month if that works better for you) to walk somewhere you’ve never been before. Our map of Hidden Gems in Arlington can be a good place to start. Some other ideas include seeking out different pieces in Arlington’s vast public art collection, walking to all of Arlington County’s historical markers, or walking to all of the County’s parks. Document your walks with photos and notes on your observations.
Going for a walk can be the one thing you do each day for yourself. It benefits you physically and mentally. There will always be tasks and activities competing for your time. Be sure to keep carving out time for your walks. You deserve it.
Join Us on a 2-Mile Walk
Sign up for our two-mile walk in Bluemont Park in partnership with NOVA Running Club. Register for this in-person event to get some exercise in and meet some new walking friends.