7 Ways to Take a Better Walk

7 Ways to Take a Better Walk

Take your walks up a notch with these 7 ideas that’ll make every step a fun and rewarding experience.

By: Debra Steilen

Losing steam? Step up your walking plan with these fresh ideas for turning the standard stroll into a can’t-miss workout. Your walk, reinvented, starts now. Here’s how to make it happen.

1. Set Specific Goals
Instead of saying “I’ll walk more this month,” make your exercise goals specific and measurable. For example, make a goal of walking for 30 minutes a day or five miles a week. Make sure your goals are attainable — if you push too hard, you might get discouraged or give up walking altogether.

2. Make Goals Unforgettable
Post your walking goals in a frequented spot within your home, like the front of your refrigerator or a digital sticky note on your computer desktop. Another idea: Change your computer password so you’re keying in “walk2miles!” (or whatever goal works for you) every time you log in.

Keeping a walking journal — a hard copy or digital version— to monitor your progress can also be handy.

3. Add a Social Twist
Make it a social event by recruiting a friend or neighbor to walk with you or join a walking group. You can also find a headset for your cell phone and connect with friends while you’re out and about. Not up for talking? Listen to an audiobook or your favorite tunes.

4. Fine-tune Your Form
Using good posture may help you walk farther and faster. Follow these posture points to get started:

  • Stand tall (without arching your back) and hold your head high
  • Look straight ahead, focusing your eyes several yards in front of you
  • Relax your shoulders, lift your chest and gently tighten your stomach muscles
  • Swing your arms forward and back in a natural motion
  • Point your knees and toes forward
  • Walk at a steady pace, rolling your foot from heel to toe with each step

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Tip: Make good posture a habit by checking your form every 10 minutes or so as you walk.

5. Buy the Right Shoes
Ward off aches and pains by finding good walking shoes that suit and support your foot type as well as your walking goals. If you have any foot-related problems, you may find yourself in need of specialized athletic shoes. Reach out to a fitting expert who can help you find the ideal pair.

6. Work Your Arms
Do biceps curls (without weights to avoid damaging joints) while you walk. Your arms should be at your sides, with the palms forward and elbows in. Lift your forearms slowly to bring your hands close to your shoulders. Slowly drop your arms to your sides again. Keep walking as you repeat these motions 15 to 20 times.

7. Challenge Yourself
Take your goals to a new level and start training for a race that welcomes walkers. Start off with a 5K and 10K event to build up your stamina. Then consider gradually working your way up to a half marathon (about 13 miles — a distance that should take about four hours for reasonably fit individuals).

Crossing the finish line — with spectators cheering you on — will make all that training worthwhile.

As always, check with your doctor if you have any concerns about upping the frequency or intensity of your workouts.

Have you stepped up your walking routine? Log in or register for P&G everyday and leave a comment below to let us know your tips!

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