You don’t need an elaborate workout program to lose weight. You can get fit and shed extra pounds as soon as you start walking consistently. Walking is a safe and healthy exercise that doesn’t require any special equipment. It isn’t expensive, and you don’t need much preparation. If you have comfortable shoes and clothing, you’re ready to walk.
Did you know that walking 30 minutes a day can cut your risk of heart disease in half? It can also lower cholesterol, help prevent type 2 diabetes and lower your stress level. That’s amazing, and it’s easy enough to accomplish even if you have a busy schedule. The 30 minutes can even be broken up into several shorter intervals throughout the day. Try walking just ten minutes after every meal and you’ll be well on your way to a healthier you.
Here are 10 tips you can use to motivate yourself to keep walking.
1. Recruit a walking buddy or join a walking club.
2. Offer yourself an incentive. Create new goals and reward yourself when you reach each one.
3. Listen to your favorite tunes on your mp3 player or portable CD player.
4. Enjoy a good book—an audio book that is! To keep yourself motivated, start an engaging book series that really grabs your attention. If you allow yourself to listen to it only when you’re walking, you’ll have no trouble getting yourself going.
5. Change your scenery by choosing different walking paths or trails. If the weather’s bad, try walking inside a shopping mall.
6. Create new goals. Challenge yourself to walk faster or longer than you have before.
7. Use your walking time to pray or meditate. Since these activities are also terrific stress-busters, you’ll get double the benefits from your walk.
8. Take your dog on a walk. It’s good for him too.
9. Play a game or work on memorizing a poem. Walking is the perfect time to work on your memory.
10. Put your treadmill in front of the TV. Catch up on all your favorite shows.
Don’t forget, when you’re walking outdoors, be sure to stay aware of your surroundings for safety’s sake. Keep your eyes out for vehicles, obstructions in your path, and suspicious people at all times.