How to incorporate walking into life and truly enjoy it?

Let’s confess: we don’t consider walking as a serious activity. And this point of view is quite understandable: there are so many other interesting activities among which we can choose! Even running is much more popular nowadays (though it requires much more effort and stamina). Despite it all, walking can offer quite an impressive range of benefits, which will definitely surprise you. And yes, weight control is among them. As well as overall health promotion, a mindful mindset development, and even better socialization as a bonus. If it still seems unconvincing to you, let us demonstrate some more benefits of walking!

Why is walking suitable for you?

  • Walking is a natural physiological way of movement for a human being;
  • It is cheap – all you need is just a pair of comfortable shoes;
  • Walking is great in terms of Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis because it doesn’t require a lot of energy to be performed. And you can do it for a very long time (and painlessly burn an impressive amount of calories);
  • According to multiple research, walking promotes healthy state of the heart, the brain, the veins, the bones, the joints… (shall we continue the list?);
  • Walking can positively affect depressive and anxiety conditions;
  • Walking can be performed as a meditation session, allowing you to focus on feelings in the body or a matter you need to solve…

No doubt, if we’ve been asked to continue, this list of benefits would have been endless (it might just have a chance to get listed in The Guinness World Records…). But we hope that you’re inspired enough and ready to go! In addition to your incipient motivation, let us add some tips and tricks on how to naturally incorporate walking into your life and fully enjoy it!

Shopping on foot is a great way to walk more - The Filgrate

How to incorporate walking into your life

Use your feet to meet your daily need 

The modern times can surely be named the era of comfort. We’re now almost free of duty to use our legs as a single way of transportation. Instead, we use various vehicles like cars, lifts, and even travelators (horizontal escalators, who’d have thought!). Despite the undebatable fact that these technological miracles of the present are handy and comfortable, we stay the same old humans – we need to move for our lives. But now we need to run from health threats like obesity, Alzheimer’s, or varicosity, not from predators or angry neighbors with clubs.

To help yourself to slowly change your lifestyle from sedentary to more active, find out what kind of tasks you used to solve on a daily basis, using a car or other transportation vehicle (e.g. a lift).

Let’s play “Bingo” game to reveal, what kind of daily little “cheating” you use to avoid walking: 

How many “yes” answers did you just give? Pay attention to the facts you’ve marked as the parts of your routine. These are your target areas to work with! Think how you can replace your “cheat” option with good old walking. Here are some tips to help you get the right mindset of a superwalker.

Clean your house by yourself to walk more -  The Filgrate

4 tips, helping to invite more walking to your life

Tip 1: use stairs instead of lifts or escalators 

If your destination point is on a high floor, make a walking challenge. Start from walking on a stairway, overcoming 1-3 floors per time. When you’ve covered the necessary floors, use a lift to reach your final point. After a while, you will feel that this “exercise” gets incredibly easier. Just add +1 floor and continue your climb to success.

Tip 2: go grocery, not drive! 

Take a walk to buy food or other stuff you need. If you want to make this task even more challenging, just find several supermarkets in the district, which are located on various distances. Start going to the closest one, and then change your grocery ‘suppliers”, going further and further. A great bonus – you’ll know all the places, where the tastiest things are sold at best prices.

Tip 3: clean your house yourself

Ditch your robot vacuum cleaner friend for at least one day per week and do the job by yourself. The bigger your house is, the better! For raising your spirits, plug in your headphones, turn on your favorite music, and you’re ready to go! Yes, you’ll be exhausted in the end. But you’ll appreciate cleanness more because it is your work. And burn some calories in addition, of course.

Tip 4: if you love shopping, do it in real life

Go shopping, visiting shopping malls, or local stores nearby. First of all, you can see, touch, and try something you’re interested in. Second, you’ll support local businesses, which is good for the economy. And third – shopping is a great reason to walk, and probably you’ll be surprised, how many steps you’ll have done at the end of a shopping day. If you don’t have stores in your neighborhood, take a ride. But try to park your car as far from the entrance as possible to invite even more movement to the shopping process.

These are the examples of tactics, allowing you to change your lifestyle and walking more. Use these tips or make your own additions to encourage yourself to walk more!

Walking in parks - The Filgrate

Use walking as recreation 

In accordance with research, walking can positively affect symptoms of depression and anxiety and improve quality of sleep. So why don’t you use that for your own well being? Especially considering the fact that we all live in a highly stressogenic environment. In this case, walking should be considered not as a way to commute, but as a way of meditation and relaxation. Hence, a walk in a park, forest, or any other place, which is somewhat closer to nature than our concrete jungle, could be a great choice. If you don’t have such places within walking distance, don’t be sad. Perhaps, it is time to explore your neighborhood and find cool places for walking, coffee drinking, and shopping! And, of course, you can take the car and arrive at any place you consider worthy to visit.

All of the above, sounds great. But what to do if you can’t convince yourself that walking can help you manage your mind and heal your body? Definitely, you need to find the motivation to start this walking practice. Moreover, to make walking a healthy habit, you need to find a sweet spot in the practice. To inspire you to add meditation walking into your routine, we’ve prepared some tips to follow.

walking together is better - The Filgrate

3 tips, helping to incorporate recreational walking into your routine

Tip 1: find the reason to go

If you can’t just put your shoes on and go out without any purpose. Find places in your neighborhood you would like to visit. It could be a coffee shop, a new bakery, or a grocery store. It doesn’t really matter what places you’ve picked up as interesting. The main thing is to set up a goal – why do you need to go there? If your walk has a purpose, it is much easier to force yourself to go out and welcome new experience.

In addition, you’ll be motivated by a prize, awaiting you at your destination point. By the way, if you experience pleasure and joy after an action, which is new for you, your brain will consider this as positive reinforcement. In other words, the next time you will be hitting the streets with bigger enthusiasm!

Tip 2: socialize actively 

If you want your walk to be more joyful and relaxing at the same time, use it to meet your friends or relatives. Yes, we love to share our time together with a cup of coffee in hand. Good news – you can do it while walking! Just call your friend, grab coffee for both of you, and take a walk! You’ll be amazed how quickly time will have passed by. And, moreover, how many steps both of you will have taken during this walk. What to do, if your friends aren’t fans of walking? Find local walking communities on Facebook or other social networks and try to join a community walk. This will allow you to walk more and, in addition, meet new people, sharing the same interest as you!   

Walking is a great way of meditation - The Filgrate
Tip 3: learn meditation walking

Meditation is a way of concentration and relaxation, allowing to calm down the mind and the body. There are several ways to practice meditation, and one of them is walking. In this case, you need to try different things before you’ll have found your own working meditation method. The main thing here is to concentrate fully on one single incentive. Moreover, you need to “cut off” your own intrusive thoughts, which can bother you during the session. Let’s see how it can be done.

For instance, if you are a fan of music, you can put your earphones on and try to concentrate on the sound. When walking, you can adjust your movement speed or style to the music and “synchronize” with it to some extent. This enhances the concentration and blocks other thoughts because you need to move and listen at the same time (brain hacking, no less!). 

Another good way to meditate is concentration on senses. Some people find balance, mindfully tracking their breath. Others like to concentrate on smells. Still others prefer to direct their attention to the feeling of movement in the body. We are all different, there is no “one size fits all” option here. In this case, the best decision is to try different approaches and choose the one, fitting you.

In conclusion

Walking is a perfect way to add some more physical activity to your daily life. Besides its simplicity, walking can also offer lots of benefits. So almost everybody can find the exact reason to start walking more. Take a long walk with your pet, invite a friend to meet in the open, relax or concentrate on important things… Enjoy it! And soon you’ll notice that walking became an indispensable, yet pleasant part of your routine. 

How to incorporate walking into life and truly enjoy it - pin by The Filgrate

References

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