The third day of the Wellbeing Challenge on Instagram is dedicated to… walking everywhere!
When I started my weight loss journey at the age of 15 (I think I haven’t shared the story here yet, but I was a morbid obese teen back then – and yes, I’m not kidding), the very first thing I started doing was to walk at least 60 minutes every day. That was the only thing my body could handle at that time and with a simple daily walk I immediately dropped a few pounds and inches even long before I started to follow a balanced meal plan.
At that time, it worked and it made wonders for me because I transformed walking into a ritual. There were no excuses. It could be sunny or raining, it didn’t really matter: I would be there walking those damn 60 minutes. When you have reduced mobility because you are too heavy (like I am now, but more about that after we finish the challenge), walking is probably the safest kind of exercise you can do. Combined with a few minutes of stretching, you will soon notice the difference. That’s why I highly recommend everyone to start walking first, even before any further changes to diet and physical activity.
I do know however that walking can become boring after a while. I especially recognise that right now because I moved back to Canterbury and I already know this city like the back of my hands… there are, nonetheless, a few tricks to reset our mood and motivation to walk. In this post I will share 3 of my favourite tricks to walk more.
1. Practise Mindfulness While Walking
Walking the same streets, alleys and paths, all the time becomes boring, right? Lack of novelty can crush our motivation to walk. One way to avoid this is to practise mindfulness while walking. This means that when you go for a walk, you will do your best to pay attention to your surroundings and to what is going on inside of yourself. Mindful walking is a good exercise not only to develop your attention skills but also to discover new details and ideas that make walking fun and which otherwise you would miss. Most of the time we walk in a very mindless way and we often miss small and big treasures on our way. I will give you one personal example: I passed by a certain tree at least three times this week and I had never noticed there was a carved figure inside the tree until today. You would say it was rather easy to spot such a beautiful detail but I have been walking so mindlessly that only today, when I finally paid attention, I then noticed the beautiful work you can see in the picture below:
2. Wear Comfortable Shoes
There is nothing worse than walking in uncomfortable shoes – well maybe there are other similar or equally uncomfortable things but you get what I mean. You may not even notice it – I sometimes don’t – but finishing a walk and having foot pain is another motivation killer. Who wants to suffer, right? Make sure you invest in a pair of sneakers or shoes that are comfortable to your feet. They don’t have to be expensive, they just need to be the right fit for your feet. Believe it or not, there are many different models and kinds of sneakers. Some pairs are more suitable for running, while others are more suitable for walking. Even within each category you will find different models according to the type of path you will be walking on. Ok, I didn’t want you to panic or make your life more difficult: next time you decide to buy a pair of walking shoes, just ask for help in the store, explain them what’s your walking goal, and they will show you the best options.
3. Walk and Help Helping Others
There is one app called Charity Miles, which I shared here in the blog around this same time last year. This is one of the many beautiful ways how technology can improve our lifestyle and make a difference in the world at the same time. Charity Miles is an app that counts the amount of miles you make and then transforms it into a monetary contribution to an organisation of your choice. Last year I was walking to support Operation Smile. You can read more about it here. I’m thinking of getting back to it as a way to motivate myself to go out more and walk – might even try to challenge a friend to come with me and even consider using it to plan a more lengthy walking adventure in the future.
What’s your favourite way to motivate yourself to walk? Let us know in the comments box. 😉