- Exercise & Fitness
Walking Motivation: How to Motivate You to Go for A Walk
The Benefits of Walking
You've heard it many times, you need to exercise.
Even if you are not overweight or don't consider yourself unhealthy, you still need to exercise. Walking is a great way to exercise because it is free, low-impact, and also gets you outside. It is also easy as it does not require a large amount of preparation; you can start the activity right from your front door!
You will likely feel better after the activity too. Often you will have more energy afterwards than before you started the exercise! Other benefits of regular exercise include weight control, improvements to mood, and keeping illnesses at bay.
Now, what are easy ways to motivate yourself to start walking?
The List: Easy Ways to Motivate Yourself
While it may be easy for you to rely on other people to try to motivate you to go for a walk, the decision is ultimately up to you. If your heart is not in it (read: you are not motivated) then you likely will not put as much energy into the exercise. There are easy ways to motivate you.
Set a Goal
Determine the number of times you want to walk each week and for how long of a stretch each time. Write down times in your day-planner, online calendar or other location that you check each day. A quick written line to remind and to help motivate you is easy to do!
Writing down your goal keeps you tied to that activity. When it is written on paper or saved in the electronic calendar, the activity becomes more real than when it is only a thought. You are more likely to stick to the plan and motivate yourself to engage in the activity. Writing down your goal is likely what you would do with a work task or important appointment; treat exercise with the same importance. Easy is the name of the game!
Add Exercise to Your Schedule
Re-Prioritize Your Schedule
Another easy way to motivate you is to make exercise a priority in your daily schedule. Treat the walk as you would an appointment. While you would not break an appointment with your doctor, you will not break an appointment with yourself to exercise. When you make the activity a priority rather than an activity you are free to forgo, you motivate yourself to go!
Assign the walk an exact time within your day if that makes the activity easier for you to remember. Add the activity to your daily to-do list as an easy way to motivate you to head outside.
Another way to make going for the exercise a priority is to use any negative experiences you have had with exercise to motivate you. Perhaps your partner recently had a health scare or heart disease runs in your family. Use these negative concepts to motivate you to get outside to walk. You might even motivate that person to head outside with you next time!
Tell yourself that you do not want your health to suffer and that is why you are going for your walk. When you understand what health risks you can avoid with exercise, you feel more motivation to walk. Your ability to motivate yourself likely gets easier with time.
Do You Find It Difficult To Motivate Yourself To Walk?
Develop A Habit
When you make walking a regular activity, your motivation remains high. When the activity becomes a habit, you now consider it a part of your day and do not consider skipping it. You now consider the exercise to be another activity to complete during your day. Easy? Yes, it gets to feel that way!
Try setting certain days as "walking days." After a few weeks of going outside on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, you will no longer need to look at your schedule to remember which days are for exercise. At this point, the exercise is a habit or easy part of your routine. Motivation is less of an issue for you!
Sign Up: Go for a Walk on a Regular Basis
Visualize the Results
Another easy way to motivate you is to visualize the results of engaging in the activity. What you visualize depends on your fitness goals. Perhaps you want to walk regularly as a way to lose weight. Visualize yourself becoming thinner and having more energy as you engage in the activity.
On days when you want to sit on the couch rather than exercise, visualize those results again. In your mind, see yourself looking and feeling better than you currently do. Remember, exercise actually gives you more energy! With these positive parts of your life waiting in the future, you have to put in the effort with the activities now. Today. Using visualization, you motivate yourself to get off of the couch. Visualization is easy in that it does not require equipment or money. You motivate yourself, now that is something to be proud of!
Effective visualization is tied to your self-talk, or how you speak to yourself in your mind. Speak nicely to yourself as you visualize the future and realize that meeting your fitness goals do take time. Be kind to yourself. Tell yourself that walking for 45 minutes is not crucial; simply getting outside for twenty minutes is a great activity for days when you are strapped for time. It can be that easy to do.
Consider you important enough to focus on; tell yourself to go for that walk today. You motivate yourself when you say that you deserve to be healthy! Over time, positive self-talk can become easy for you.
An easy way to motivate you is to have fun in the process! People tend to procrastinate when the activity is not one that is enjoyable. Here are a few easy ways to make walking more fun:
- Go with a friend
- Join a walking group
- Take along your iPod and listen to some upbeat songs
- Get a great new t-shirt or other fitness gear to model as you walk
- Go places that interest you. It's as easy as heading down the street!
- Explore new trails that have been on your list of to-do's
When you have fun, you put more energy into the activity. You therefore burn more calories and are more likely get back out there again tomorrow! Remember, you can motivate yourself better than anyone else because you know yourself best! While you are the one who can make things difficult for you, you can make things easy too.
There are many easy ways to motivate you to go for a walk. When the motivation stems from within, you are more likely to stick with the activity and put more energy into your movements.
Set your goals for walking and visualize the results as easy ways to motive yourself on a regular basis. Consistency of the walks means that the activity will become part of your routine. Make walking a fun, easy experience for you to keep up your motivation levels.
Enjoy the outdoors and get healthy in the process!
** Please consult your doctor before you modify your current activity levels by walking. Personal medical histories do affect what type of exercise you should engage in.**
- Exercise: 7 benefits of regular physical activity - MayoClinic.com
Exercise can improve your mood, stamina and sex life. How many more reasons do you need to get moving?