Up Your Walking Motivation
Adding friends and nature to your walking routine can make a world of difference.

There are many ways to get exercise, but walking is one of the most popular for countless reasons—it’s low-impact, it’s easy to talk and be social while walking, it’s free, and you can do it almost anywhere. Just 30 minutes of walking a day (if your doctor says it’s okay) can reduce your risk of coronary heart disease, improve blood sugar and blood pressure levels, help you maintain a healthy body weight, enhance your mental well-being, and reduce your risk of osteoporosis, breast cancer, colon cancer, and type 2 diabetes.

Walk with a Friend

Walking with a friend or multiple friends can make it more enjoyable, and you can help motivate one another. The first step is seeing if any current friends or relatives are interested. You can even start your own walking group. Then, set specific days and times. Trying new routes can keep it interesting, and mall walking is a great cool-weather option.

Another option is to join an existing walking group. The American Heart Association (AHA) encourages people to create or join a walking club, organized through Meetup.com. There are already numerous AHA clubs in communities nationwide. You can also go directly to Meetup.com to look for walking or hiking groups in your area.

Out in Nature

Walking or hiking in beautiful natural surroundings makes exercising more enjoyable and adds variety to your routine. Here are a few resources for finding parks to walk and hike in:

Hiking trails will usually be rated on difficulty from easy to extreme to allow you to pick a route that’s best for you and your group.

If you go on a hike, make sure to be prepared. The American Hiking Society offers this “10 Essentials of Hiking” list to follow.

With a beautiful natural setting to enjoy, company and great conversation, you can’t go wrong with a walking routine. Happy trails!

Walking: Trim Your Waistline, Improve Your Health – MayoClinic.org
Walking Exercises & Benefits – ShareCare.com