HOW TO BUILD YOUR WALKING GOALS THE RIGHT WAY
As we edge into spring and nicer weather, lots of us want to get out there and just walk, and enjoy the sunshine. After a long winter and an even longer pandemic, we’ve gotten a bit sluggish and out of shape. Here’re a few ways to build your walking goals to get stronger and more fit.
- Get a good pair of walking shoes. This is an absolute must. Ditch the worn-out tennis sneaker lurking in the back of your closet and get a decent pair of shoes. They don’t have to be expensive, but they do have to be supportive and well-made.
- Check out your neighbourhood for possible walking routes. Do you live in a rural area, where you’ll have to navigate uneven paths and gravel roads? Or do you live in an urban area, where there are more sidewalks? Do your neighbours have a walking group that goes to a mall a few times a week? Call your local community centre for information on walking groups. Pick outdoor routes that you can switch up for variety. But make sure you can handle the surface you’re going to walk on.
- Use the building block method to increase your stamina. Pick a goal of, say, 4 blocks for the first week. After that, add 2 more blocks onto your walk; 2 weeks later, add another 2 blocks, and so on. Vary your routes as you add distance to your trek to get some variety.
- Download a pedometer app for your smartphone – you can track the number of steps you take – another way to measure your progress.
- Take your dog with you, or ask your friend with a dog to go with you. You both get exercise, someone to chat with, and the dog gets its exercise too – a win all around! No dogs around? Ask your neighbour with a toddler or a baby in a stroller to go with you .
- Build your small errands into your walking time. Do you have to pick up a thing or two at the grocery store, or drop off a book at the library? Plan a new route around these errands, and you’ll see your neighbourhood in a different and interesting way. Bonus – you get your errands done without extra time!
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