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Walking Motivation: How to Motivate You to Go for A Walk

Updated on August 10, 2012

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?

Let's Go!

Grab your shoes, it's time to go!
Grab your shoes, it's time to go! | Source

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

Make walking a priority in your day.
Make walking a priority in your day. | Source

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...

Do You Find It Difficult To Motivate Yourself To Walk?

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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.


Positive self-talk will help motivate you.
Positive self-talk will help motivate you. | Source

Have Fun

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.

And So...

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.**


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    • swalia profile image

      Shaloo Walia 2 years ago from India

      Somehow I am never able to maintain the discipline of daily walks. This hub is quite useful and I guess, I will use a daily planner to keep track of my walks. thanks!

    • ChristyWrites profile image

      Christy Birmingham 5 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      @Chuck, your walk at Long Beach sounds beautiful. The feeling of walking on a beach is like no other. You make a good point that in the right surroundings for temperature and pleasant views, you are more motivated to walk. Today is cloudy here, but yesterday was just too warm to exercise outside. Take care and stay healthy.

    • Chuck Bluestein profile image

      Chuck Bluestein 5 years ago from Morristown, AZ, USA

      On the weekend I was in Long Beach. On Sunday afternoon I took an hour walk on the beach with my feet in the ocean most of the time. It was so nice that I would not have any trouble taking walks if I lived there. In Arizona it is over 100 degrees during the summer and that is too hot to take a hike on a mountain.

      My feet felt really good after that walk. I started walking in sandals but took them off and did most of the walk barefoot. That might have been the nicest walk of my life.

      Oddly enough, later, after being at the convention center there I walked back to my hotel-- about a mile, on the street next to beach. But I was looking all around at what was going on and walking on a sidewalk that overlooked the beach. I did not even notice passing my hotel and kept walking. Then the street and beach ended so I asked someone what happened.

      He told me that I had passed my hotel a few miles back (I walk fast). So I walked back and that walk was a 3 and half hour walk. Although I have done mountain hikes even longer than that.

    • ChristyWrites profile image

      Christy Birmingham 5 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      @DDE, great to hear! Check in and let me know how you are doing - have fun too!

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 5 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Awesome I am working on going for walks daily and keeping up to it

    • ChristyWrites profile image

      Christy Birmingham 5 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      @anusujith, I hope you get your motivation back soon and are able to walk soon too as a family. Congratulations on your first child, how wonderful!

      @dwachira, I appreciate your kindness. Thank-you.

    • anusujith profile image

      Anoop Aravind A 5 years ago from Nilambur, Kerala, India

      walking exercise is a good habit... But motivation for this is pretty useful idea... My wife and me walked every day on just before one month... We are not doing it now... Because she delivered our First child last week....

      Now you tell me how's my motivation for walk?...

      Useful hub.... Voted up and shared...

    • dwachira profile image

      [ Danson Wachira ] 5 years ago from Nairobi, Kenya

      I look for this motivation every day and so i should remember to read this. I have bookmarked and shared. Thanks.

    • ChristyWrites profile image

      Christy Birmingham 5 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      @Vocalcoach, given how great your hubs are, I am honoured that you speak so highly of this one. I do love to walk and try to do so at least a few times a week. Glad to hear you are healthy and enjoying walking too!

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 5 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      These 5 easy tips are wonderful. Once I get started, I love to walk. I always feel better and have more energy after my walk. Remember the importance of deep breathing during a walk. Thank you Christy for this very useful hub. Voted up and more!

    • ChristyWrites profile image

      Christy Birmingham 5 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      @alocsin, you are quite right that the tips can be applied to a variety of exercise plans. I'm pleased you like the hub!

      @Marc, dogs can certainly motivate :) Thanks for the comment!

      @teaches, I do hope to motivate others to be healthy. Walking is an exercise that does not require any money or equipment. Thanks for your great comment.

      @BethDW, I'm glad you find motivation in my hub. Even a short walk is better than none at all. You will find your routine as you settle into your new home :)

      @lovedoctor, good for you that's awesome! I'm glad to hear you are healthy and happy too!

    • alocsin profile image

      alocsin 5 years ago from Orange County, CA

      Excellent suggestions for walkers but I believe much of this can be used to motivate any fitness program. Voting this Up and Useful.

    • Marc Babineau profile image

      Marc Babineau 5 years ago from Cornwall, Ontario, The Seaway City

      I find that having dogs is it's own motivation for walkies!

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

      This is a wonderful motivator for walking and your tips are ones that will help to build a good habit. I find listening to music is a great motivator for me. Your idea to visualize the goal is really good. Thanks for sharing this healthy advice. Voted up!

    • profile image

      BethDW 5 years ago

      What a useful hub! I recently moved to an apartment on the outskirts of my city and since I don't have a car I had to give up my gym membership...I've started walking more to make up for the lost workouts. Since I have two dogs, it's not too difficult to motivate myself but sometimes I find myself cutting the walks short or just running them out to do their business when I'm having a lazy day. You've given so great tips on how to stay motivated! Voted up!

    • profile image

      lovedoctor926 5 years ago

      Vote up useful. I've been walking a mile a day three times a week for several months now. I also go to the gym and do strength training exercises. Walking is awesome. The key is consistency if you want to see results. I'm in the best shape ever.