Five Ways to Rev Up Your Walking Routine

Warmer temperatures bring the opportunity to put on our walking shoes and step outside for our workouts.  But if you, like me, have been walking for many years, you may find yourself bored with the same old routine. To avoid burnout, try these five ways to rev up your walk.

Take a new route

If you normally take a left turn out of your driveway, take a right. If you usually walk in your neighborhood, consider driving to a local park or trail for your outing. The change of scenery will challenge your body in new ways, and you’ll find yourself occupied with new things to see and hear.

Pick up the pace

Exercise experts swear by interval training, which involves speeding up your exercise routine in spurts and allows you to burn more calories in less time. Try walking at your regular pace for a few minutes and then walking more vigorously for thirty to sixty seconds.  Repeat this routine until your walk is over.  Don’t forget to warm up and cool down!

Find or ditch a partner   

If you’ve been walking with a partner who is slowing you down, consider walking alone or with someone else a few times a month, or even permanently.  Save the constant chatter and slower pace for an evening out with the partner, rather than centering your exercise on him or her. If you don’t have a walking partner, consider asking someone to join you. Just be sure that he or she is increasing, not decreasing, your productivity. Having a workout partner can increase your security, help keep you occupied, and encourage you to stay with your routine.

Stop the all-or-nothing attitude

Have you been skimping on your walks lately?  Kiss that all-or-nothing attitude goodbye. If you don’t have time to go for your regular walk, squeeze exercise into your day by parking farther away from the store or your workplace, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, or walking between errands rather than driving. It’s true that every little bit of exercise counts.  Follow these slower-paced days with days when you commit and follow through with longer walks.  

Take a break

Have you been walking daily for months or years on end? Give yourself a breather to keep from burning out. Try a new form of exercise, such as yoga or weight-lifting, or just take a break one or two days a week.  By giving your body a rest, you will have the energy to walk with more purpose and vigor.  Rather than dreading the predictable routine, you will find yourself excited to head out on a walk.        

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