Odds are you’ve already done some walking today. How many steps do you think you’ve taken? Walking gets you where you need to go, but you may not think it counts as physical activity.
Truth is, every step counts. Walking is good for cardiovascular health and it’s easy on joints. It’s convenient to do (all you need are shoes and a place to walk), practical, and inexpensive.
Best part? Walking can be fun! Walk more daily with these ideas to step-up your walking game:
- Earn points! Get the Carrot Rewards app on your smartphone and earn loyalty reward points from Aeroplan, Scene, More Rewards, or Petro-Points for taking more steps daily. Learn more.
- Download an audio book, podcast, or make a playlist to listen to while you walk. I like podcasts early in the day when my mind is fresher and music later on when I’m more fatigued.
- Explore a new neighbourhood by foot. Do a little research beforehand; choose a route where you can walk through a local park or pass by a historic statue, street or other landmark.
- Pick a coffee shop or restaurant you’d like to visit. Aim for somewhere further away from where you usually go. Invite a friend so you’ll have dining and walking company.
- Who doesn’t like a treasure and a bargain? Keep an eye on local bulletin boards, newspaper classifieds and signs for yard sales. When Saturday comes around, pack re-usable bags, bring your coin purse and walk to the yards sale locations you’ve mapped out.
- Try the ever growing pastime of geocaching. Use a GPS (like the one in your smartphone) to find hidden caches in your city. You can even geocache when travelling other parts of the world. Learn more.
- Bring walking to your office; have walk and talk meetings instead of sitting in a meeting room. Or go for a noon time power walk to raise your energy levels.
- Make a scavenger hunt. Prior to heading out make a list of things you must see on your walk before you can go back home. For example, a red car, a small dog and a mail box. You can even make seasonal or themed lists.
- Make it a workout. That’s right, walking can be a good session to raise your heart rate. Set yourself a targeted intensity or time, and lace-em-up!
Spoiler alert! Check back next week to learn about the sport of race walking and get even more out of your steps.
I challenge you to try at least one idea in the list above this week. Personally I’ll be heading to some garage sales with the hopes of finding a soccer ball.
American College of Sports Medicine: Walking for Health: Easy, Inexpensive and Effective
ParticipACTION: 10 Ways to Rock Your Walk