4 easy ways to make walking fun

Are you tired of always walking around the block for exercise? To help shake up your boring walking routine – and make walking enjoyable again – here are four indispensable tips.

4 easy ways to make walking fun

[Image credit: iStock.com/kali9]

1. Walk for entertainment one day a week

Instead of walking around your neighbourhood, walk through the zoo, an art museum or an upscale shopping mall.

  • First, circle the perimeter of your location at your usual brisk pace. Then wander through again more slowly to take in the sights.

2. Walk in the prettiest neighbourhood

Just circling the same streets can get plenty boring. Heck, even your dog could get bored after walking the same neighbourhood. So why not get in the car and drive to a new neighbourhood? And make it a nice one.

  • When researchers from the University of Wollongong in New South Wales, Australia, surveyed walkers about their walking habits, they found that men who perceived their neighbourhoods to be "aesthetic" were more consistent about walking around them.
  • Other research finds that neighbourhoods with well-maintained sidewalks and safe, well-lit walking areas encourage walking more than neighbourhoods that don't have those features.
  • What's more, people who live in so-called "walkable neighbourhoods" walk an average of 70 more minutes each week than people who live in neighbourhoods lacking such characteristics.

3. Walk when you shop

Online shopping is great for convenience and selection but stinks when it comes to burning calories. Walking around the mall, however, can burn about 200 calories an hour – more than what you'll burn sitting on your butt surfing the Internet. It's also perfect when the weather outside is too cold or raining.

  • You can increase the effectiveness of your walk and shop time by doing a lap around the mall between store visits.
  • Some malls have walking clubs that meet on a regular basis, so it's an opportunity to socialize.

4. Walk to fundraise for a cause

Consider such organizations as the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada, The Terry Fox Run or the Canadian Red Cross. All are registered charities that sponsor walkathons and runathons to raise funds. You need not even formally join the event – just pledge to contribute.

  • If you participate, you'll take pride in the fact that you're walking for a good cause that extends beyond yourself, which will motivate you to go longer and faster.
  • After every walk, mark the amount you owe on a chart, and when you reach $100 send a cheque. Whoever thought exercise could be tax deductible?
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