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12 tips to motivate yourself to walk

Last updated on: October 3, 2011 18:09 IST

12 tips to motivate yourself to walk

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Ravish Taori lists out all the things you can do to get out of bed and into your walking shoes, like now!

How can I lose weight? How can I achieve the perfect figure? How can I strengthen myself against an array of diseases? The answer to all these questions (and a few more) is walking!

Walking is the best fitness exercise that is ever known to mankind. No side effects - just results!

The key to any walking program or for that matter any fitness program is Motivation. It is a fuel for weight loss. And just like any other program, maintaining a regular walking routine can be difficult once the initial newness wears off. Putting one foot after another, day in and day out, can get a bit monotonous. The monotony can have an adverse result on your fitness program.

So what do you do when your pace starts to slacken and boredom sets in? You motivate yourself! And here is how you do it


Image: Talke a walk, really.

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Listen to music

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Walking is so much better with an mp3 player. Yes, it does require a small investment initially but it is worth every penny! You don't have to listen to only music while walking, you can also engross yourself in audio books or podcasts and just eat up the miles.

You can even make a point to listen to an audiobook while walking. The anticipation of finding out what happens next will be enough motivation to go out for a walk. So step up to the beat!


Image: Going for a brisk walk... plug in that awesome soundtrack to go with it

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Choose different routes

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The same old route can get a bit dreary.

Explore a new route every now and then. If the environment is enjoyable, miles just fly by.

By focusing on your surroundings you may even forget that you're exercising.


Image: Explore unexplored paths. It keeps you guessing
Photographs: Philip Brown / Reuters
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Count your steps

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Ever heard of 10,000 steps per day plan?

You can actually start counting the number of steps that you take and you will probably forget the exercising boredom.

Sure you can use a pedometer, but you can also engross yourself in the activity while you are out walking. You can then compare the steps counted with the steps recorded in your pedometer.


Image: France's national soccer team coach Laurent Blanc steps out of his house for a walk
Photographs: Reuters / Ulrich Chofflet
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Wear a pedometer

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Several studies show that wearing a pedometer and having a daily step goal can boost your activity level. It can be a powerful reminder that every step counts, and soon you will be finding ways to add steps to your day.


Image: The pedometer helps you keep count of how much you've walked
Photographs: Wikimedia Creative Commons
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Get a partner

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Find a walking buddy to keep you motivated.

Having a friend waiting for you to take a walk gets you out there day after day. Even the discussions, jokes, and tea afterward are great for relaxing.

You can even walk with your dog.


Image: Sachin Tendulkar walks with coach Duncan Fletcher
Photographs: Philip Brown / Reuters
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Join a walking club

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Better than having just one partner, join an entire club.

This is also a good way to socialise and make new connections.


Image: If you're bored of walking alone, join a group
Photographs: Wikimedia Creative Commons
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Remind yourself of the benefits

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Nothing will charge you more than reminding the benefits of walking. And there are so many of them:

  • Helps in weight loss
  • Lowers your blood pressure
  • Strengthens your bones and joints
  • Reduces the risk of heart disease
  • Reduces risk of diabetes... the list just goes on!

Image: Whenever you get lazy or tired, remind yourself of all the benefits of walking

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Maintain a walking journal

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Bring a bit of professionalism in your walking routine. Set a goal and plan a strategy to achieve it. Track your walking minutes, steps, or kilometers in a journal or even in an online log and analyze it every month. You will find yourself out walking just to make those numbers add up.


Image: Professional speedwalkers often maintain a walking journal. Seen here is US Army Sgt John Nunn walking during the Military World Games competition in Hyderabad
Photographs: Tomisti / Wikimedia Creative Commons
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Choose the best time

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Choosing the time that works best for you is an important step to ensure a successful walking program and stay motivated.

Some people walk in the morning to get ready for the day. Some people walk during lunch hour because they hate mornings.

Others walk in the evening or after dinner to relieve tension and relax. If you don't have full 30 to 40 minutes to walk, then break the 30 minutes down into several shorter walks.

Illustration: Uttam Ghosh


Image: Select a timing that suits you the best

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Reward yourself

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If you achieve your goals, reward yourself with something interesting. New clothes, new walking shoes or even a movie; whatever works best for you.


Image: Buy yourself a pair of track pants or those shoes you were dying to buy as a reward every once in a while

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Sign up for an event

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Once you have advanced over the beginner level, it is time to sign up for a charity walk or walk-a-thon to give yourself something to work towards. Training for a professional event can be very motivating and very rewarding.


Image: Join a walking events such as Relay for Life
Photographs: Wikimedia Creative Commons
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Walk on the treadmill

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When you are absolutely bored to walk outside, jump on the treadmill. You can watch TV or talk to your buddies on the phone and the miles would just add up.

Establish your motivation in your walking activity and you will stay persistent in walking toward a healthy body. The important thing is to set the goals, keep walking and keep shedding those pounds!


Image: Walk on the treadmill

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