5 Ways to Motivate Yourself to Walk or Run

5 Ways to Motivate Yourself to Walk or Run Image  "Family Walking on Southern Ocean Lodge" © Tourism Australia via Canva.com

I’m currently doing Les Mills Pump, and there are some days when a walk is on the schedule. It can be replaced with any other cardio activity, but today I decided to go for a walk because I found out my car has to stay in the shop longer than expected, and I had somewhere to go that I estimated would take me about half an hour to walk to. It was actually a bit further, but not by much. If I hadn’t had that place to go, I probably wouldn’t have done that walk (though I would like to believe I would have motivated myself to do another workout). While on the walk, I started thinking of ways to motivate myself to take more walks (which could also apply to going for runs if I work back up to wanting to do that). I’ll start with what I did today and share four more:

1. Walk or run with a destination in mind 

Having a destination was a motivator today, but it has been in the past as well. For a period of time when I lived in Florida I was running, but I didn’t always want to do it. On days I didn’t, I ran to the store to get a few things I needed and then walked or jogged back depending on how much I was carrying. Although some people live further out from destinations than others, “walking distance” is really only determined by the time you have available and the effort you’re willing to put in to getting somewhere.

2. Take dogs for a walk or run 

My dogs love to go for walks and get very excited to do so. Although it’s not necessarily good for an aerobic walk since one of them wants to pee or stop to sniff something every few seconds, it is good for covering a distance, and I tend to walk for longer if my dogs are with me than I would if I walked alone. For shorter distances, my dogs will also tolerate a run. If you don’t have dogs but want to do this, you could look for people hiring dog walkers, which would be a way to get some exercise and make an extra income. Here’s a clip of my Pembroke Welsh Corgi and Miniature Pinscher taking a walk through the leaves in the woods near our home. 

3. Walk or run somewhere scenic 

If your local streets aren’t doing it for you, find a nice park or garden to stroll through. When I lived in Toledo, I used to go to Swan Creek metro park. In Florida, I liked to find a neighborhood with trees since mine didn’t have any or drive to the beach and walk. In Heidelberg, we were lucky to have a nice city to stroll though which also had a trail up the side of the mountain with a great view over the city. In Kaiserslautern, I’ve walked through the Gartenshau and the Japanese Garden.

Swan Creek, Philosophenweg, Japanischer Garten, Gartenshau

4. Walk downtown 

Even if you choose to drive downtown (or whatever you call the main area in your city), find somewhere to park and walk around. Whether you have a destination in mind or not, you may notice things about your city that you wouldn’t if you were in a car. Although we used to walk around Heidelberg all the time, we were in Kaiserslautern for a year before I finally took a walk around the city, and I saw a lot of interesting little things I probably wouldn’t have noticed while driving.

Kaiserslautern collage

5. Walk when you travel 

I get the most walking done when I’m traveling because I tend to go everywhere on foot instead of using public transportation. Although I might not want to cover the same distance locally, while traveling it doesn’t bother me as much because I have so many new things to see. Doing this is also a helpful reminder on days like today (when I was debating whether I really wanted to get where I was going) that if I can spend a full day covering a city end to end, I can certainly spend half an hour to get to somewhere that would have taken a few minutes by car. If you’re going to spend a day walking, don’t forget the sunscreen.

I hope you’ve enjoyed these 5 ideas to help get you motivated to take your next walk or run. You may also want to check out these fit facts about walking. Although I’m hoping our car is fixed soon, we’re a one car household at the moment, so there is probably a lot of walking in my future if I want to get anywhere while my husband is working instead of staying home feeling like I’m living the opening scene of Tangled. So I’m sure I’ll be returning to my own list to get myself motivated. I’m also thinking about getting a bike so I can cover some distances further from home without taking all day to get there.

If you have any favorite ways to motivate yourself to walk or run or any tips on buying a bike, please share in the comments below! 

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