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Love your area – (Walking PT 2)

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How To Get in the Habit of Walking More

No matter where you live you can find something to really love about the area. When you walk, you explore an area, even somewhat on a top level, you will still see details you never may of seen.  If if you drive to a trailhead near you, and take a short walk in the woods, it will allow you to listen to the woods, or see parts of the ecosystem you may have never seen. I have a number of places I drive to then walk, and some of these images included show some of the things I’ve found. The image shown on the left is on a path to Drift Creek Falls in Lincoln City Oregon

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We were designed to walk for miles and miles to hunt and gather our food. Yet, in modern society, we spend most of our time sitting down. That is not good for our bodies leading to a host of health problems. This is probably one of the most important reasons to make an effort to move around and go for a walk each day. Of course, that’s easier said than done. Most of us sit for our work, we eat sitting down, and to be honest all we want to do when we come home from work is plop down on the couch for a Netflix marathon until bedtime.  Whoa, this hits way too close to home lol.

In other words, getting and staying in the habit of going for a walk each day can be a bit of a challenge. But that’s exactly what we need to do. We need to get in the habit of going for that walk just like we’re in the habit of brushing our teeth twice a day or taking out the trash on Tuesdays. Once it’s a well-ingrained habit, it won’t be as much of a challenge to make sure we go for a walk each day.  Even though I mention driving to a place to walk, if you are just starting to walk, a great place to start is to find a walking route you enjoy. It helps to make it as easy as possible and maybe right outside your front door.   But if it’s a 30-minute drive there and back, you’ll be less likely to do it every single day. Instead, save that walk for the weekends and come up with something convenient and pleasant for your everyday walking routine. If you can, find a route in your own neighborhood so you can leave right from your front door. Just lace up your shoes and start walking. If you live in town, but a goal in front of you, like walking to Starbucks for a cup of coffee, or your favorite breakfast cafe, walking back will help reduce the calories you just ate 🙂

When you are first getting into your routine, taking the same route every day helps form that habit. It’s also encouraging to notice that you can walk the same loop faster or with less effort over time. It proves that you’re making a difference and are getting stronger and increasingly fitter. If you are walking by yourself, listening to your favorite music, podcast or audio books is also helpful. It will make the time go by faster and give you something else to look forward to. You can even use your favorite media as a way to bribe yourself to go for your daily walk. Let’s say you have a couple of podcasts you enjoy. Save them for your walks and only let yourself listen to them while you’re walking. It’s a great incentive to get out there even on days when you’re not feeling it.

Click pic for larger view
Click for larger view

If you have friends/family close by, consider walking with other people. Find a walking group in your area, or talk a friend or neighbor into becoming your walking buddy. Not only is it more fun to walk when you have someone to talk to, it also has some built-in accountability. It’s much easier to skip a walking workout when you know that other people are waiting for you and relying on you to join them.  And don’t forget to take your camera, whether it be a phone or point & Shoot or a more sophisticated one, document your trips. You can even start a blog like this one, or place on your FB or wherever and share with others.  Maybe even help them get started walking!

I have a couple of places I drive too, and they are longer hikes, like Drift Creek falls, and have found some interesting things in the woods, as shown below.

Give these tips a try and see if they help you make walking a daily habit and an integral part of your health, your fitness, and your life.


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