Walking is one of the easiest, most fun ways of keeping your health in check. No matter what age you’re at, what kind of work you do, or where you live, you can easily incorporate walking into your daily routine and add it as a viable form of exercise in your daily habits.
While researchers are still conflicted about the exact number of steps one needs to walk daily, some studies claim that walking 10,000 steps every day is a good start. But for someone who has never walked a lot and mostly leads a sedentary lifestyle, how to go about including walking in your daily routine?
This post discusses five easy steps you can apply to your life right now to start walking more often. These are science-backed tips you can add to your life from today onwards and watch the visible change it brings to your overall physical and mental health.
1. Stroll with friends
Going on a walk all by yourself can be hard if your job requires you to sit in front of a computer all day long. You can start small and build this habit gradually by going on a stroll with your friends every evening.
Walking with friends is a great way of getting your body used to walking more as you can laugh, share stories, and have fun. It will feel more like a fun activity than a workout session. It will also go a long way in building a habit you’ll forever be grateful for.
2. Boost the intensity
While strolling with friends is a good way to incorporate walking into your daily routine, it might not be very effective health-wise as you won’t be walking fast. You can take care of this by slowly increasing the pace. If your friends refuse to follow the pace you set, you can start embarking on your daily walks alone.
Start by playing music in your headphones and choosing tracks that have a high beats per minute ratio. The fast-paced tracks will pump your heartbeat and make it easier to walk faster without thinking too much about how hard a task you’re accomplishing.
3. Head out after a meal
While scientists are not sure if working out after a meal is a good idea, some form of light exercise disguised as brisk walking never hurts.
This will act as a great mood-booster, and you can walk all those calories away. A quick post-meal walk can also help clear sugar from the blood,according to the American Diabetes Association. This will prevent spikes that can take a toll on people with diabetes or who are at risk of developing it.
4. Put your phone away
Looking at your phone all the time while walking will require you to be hunched all the time and lead to bad posture. To prevent this from happening, you need to keep your phone away.
Don’t keep it at home. Instead, get a fanny pack or a small pouch to be slung over your shoulders and keep your phone inside it. Get some Bluetooth earphones that allow you to listen to music while being hands-free as you walk.
5. Use a steps tracker
Having a fitness tracker app on your phone or wearing a Fitbit on your wrist as you walk is a great way to count the daily steps and keep yourself motivated. When you know you need to walk a fixed number of steps daily, you will feel even more inclined towards doing it if you have a tracker to count how many steps you have already walked. This will also put you in the mood to celebrate better once you’ve accomplished your daily steps goal.
Bonus: Have a partner
Having someone else do it with you can make building any new habit easier. If you can’t find a friend who’s also learning to walk every day at the same time as you are, you can hire an accountability coach to help keep you on track. These are trained individuals who will hold you accountable and help you get back on track if you ever fall off the wagon.
You can also turn to technology and download a free habit tracker. This is a great way to mark your progress on the calendar and use it to motivate yourself to keep pushing on. ,