walking exerciseThis week at the FitFarms holiday weight loss retreat in Dorset we talked about ways to spice up your walks and keep you motivated.

Walking is a great way to get increase the amount of movement that you are getting. It ticks all of the boxes; it is low impact so its easy on your joints; it’s low intensity which keeps you in the aerobic heart rate range – ideal for those trying to manage their weight; it’s weight bearing, meaning your tissues are supporting themselves under the force of gravity, which encourages healthy bone density and guards against osteoporosis; it gets you outside in the fresh air which is great for your mood and relaxation.

Unfortunately, many people see walking as boring so they aren’t motivated to do as much of it as they know they should. But it doesn’t have to be that way! Here are some ideas for making walks more interesting.

  • Get a walking buddy – find a friend, family member to go walking with. This will give you some accountability when you make plans and help you stick to your goals. And its a chance to connect with others, which is great for improving your mood. If you don’t have anyone locally you can try and find a buddy through websites like www.findafitnessbuddy.co.uk or use your walks to catch up with long distance friends on the phone.
  • Get into podcasts – podcasts are an amazing free resource. Any topic or genre you are interested in I can bet there is a podcast to match. Dramas, documentary’s, health and nutrition – you can learn an amazing amount, and you’ll find the miles just fly by. All you need is an app for your smartphone Apple Podcast and Stitcher are two popular ones. You use the app to search for, download and play the shows which are completely free!
  • Borrow a dog – A dog is a great excuse to get out and about and strikes a good balance between companionship and getting some headspace for yourself away from others. If you don’t know anyone with a dog, check out www.borrowmydoggy.com
  • Take up photography – going for a walk to improve your health doesn’t have to be all about wearing Lycra and sweat bands! If you have more of an artistic bent, wondering through your neighborhood with a camera gives you a whole new perspective on the place, and some beautiful photographs as a bonus.

Image Credit: www.thehealthsite.com