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Motivation to Walk for Exercise
An Exercise for Everyone
All truly great thoughts are conceived by walking.
~ Friedrich Nietzsche
Walking is an exercise that almost everyone can do. It doesn't require strain or sweating yet still keeps your body comfortably mobile. While the exact number of calories burned depends on how fast you walk and your weight, do not overlook the lowly walking exercise in your health regime. Walking can be done nearly everywhere and can easily be fit in throughout your day, making it an ideal exercise for everyone. If you are severely overweight and find other exertions too much for you, walking is the best place to start.
Before You Start...
Before you start a new walking program, make sure you have at the minimum, a pair of comfortable sneakers. If you have trouble walking, a walking stick or cane may be useful also. And the last item you may want to consider is a pedometer.
Steps: Count Them Out
Many walkers find wearing a pedometer very motivating because you can see your daily steps or mileage progress and can aim to keep a daily goal. A popular walking goal is 10,000 steps a day. I've noticed that when I wear a pedometer I end up taking more shorter walking trips out just to up my daily steps count. Wearing a pedometer really works to keep your motivation high. You'll notice a difference in your energy and fitness level depending on the number of steps you've walked that day. Fitting in the 10,000 steps feels a whole lot different than a mere 2,500, and the days you do less you'll feel like you need to take a walk.
A Walk with Friends
Walking with friends or a social walking group is another great way to get in more steps. A friend of mine walks with her coworkers for an hour at lunch. Instead of inviting friends over to lounge on the sofa, why not invite them out for a walk? Pick a park or beach nearby and head on over. Or simply walk around the neighborhood.
Walk for Errands with a Pull Cart
Why drive when you can walk? If the store is nearby, why not invest in a pull cart so you can walk and get your errands done by foot? I have one of these and I've found it to be a treasure. They are light weight and hold a lot. Pick a sturdy variety and you'll be good to go. You'll never again have to be dragged down with bags. I tend to take mine almost everywhere, because I never know when I'll feel like shopping and this way I can take off my coat if the weather warms up, save my shoulders from wearing a weighty purse or bag, and impulse buy on heavy items without a problem.
Listen to the Masters
Take your ipod or MP3 device with you and walking will be a joy. There are free podcasts to listen to, music of course, and my favorite - audiobooks by my favorite authors. Librivox has free audiobooks done by volunteers, or you can choose to go with Audible, a popular audiobooks service which charges a small monthly fee. I love walking with audiobooks because the time flies as I get sucked into a great story. The last one I listened to was over 14 hours! It was Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, and only cost $1.95 on iTunes.
A Walk for Beauty
Take a walk somewhere beautiful in your neighborhood or city and your mood will lift. Every city has it's beautiful side, and if yours doesn't, go to the nearest safe and pretty location to get your walk in. I like walking at the park or beach, or sometimes through the busy city streets lined with cafes and sidewalk restaurants. Walking is a great exercise to spend in lovely areas. There's no need to walk in squalor if you can help it at all.
A Walk for Fido
Taking your dog for a walk is another motivation to walk. Dogs love going for walks and will make your walk not only safe but enjoyable. Most dog owners know that dogs open up conversations nearly everywhere they go. You might even meet a new friend or two.
Take a Camera
Walking with a camera is a great idea because then you can take pictures of items and scenes that strike your fancy. You can keep a blog of your daily walks and keep track of the places you visit with your photos. If you write for Hubpages, you can gather pictures for your hub articles. Walking lends itself to picture taking, you just need to keep your eyes open and be ready to snap pictures of cute restaurants, funny signs, or beautiful flowers you see along your walk.
A Walk for Fresh Air
If you are in a bad mood, angry at someone, or otherwise your emotions are in the dumps, it's time to take a walk. Walk for as long as it takes to change your emotions and notice the things around you if you can to help take your mind off things. Taking a walk is a good prescription for getting out of a ugly mood. Inhale the fresh air and with each step try to work yourself into a better mood, and before long, you'll feel lighter and better. Then it's just a matter of wandering yourself back to where you started!
Time to Go!
I hope you found this article motivating. There are many good reasons to walk and I hope you found even one of them that's enough to get you going.
Now, you'll have to excuse me. I'm off to take a walk.