Today can be great – Walking for wellbeing takes motivation.

Last week, I wrote about the benefits of walking – I don’t think that any of the points I mentioned were particularly ground breaking – As a general rule, we all know what’s beneficial for our health, but it takes motivation to get out and do the positive things and will power to restrict ourselves from the the excesses that can harm us. Lockdown rules and social distancing don’t help particularly either. However being penned up at home can produce cabin fever in all of us and the pent up restlessness can work to you advantage during these strange times.

Create Habits.

Walking for regular exercise should not be a chore. To avoid this, try to create habits. Going for a walk before breakfast each day, for example, would integrate itself into your daily routine far more efficiently than “fitting it in”. In our busy lives, with so much to throw us off kilter, even the best laid plans can go awry; Don’t use the stresses of daily life as a reason NOT to go for a walk, but a reason TO make a walk part of your week.

Apps and music can also play a huge part in the habit forming procedure. A Walking Playlist attaches something fun to the walk. When I was doing the Couch to 5K, I always started my 5 minute brisk walk with Bryan Adams’ “I Still Miss You – A Little Bit” – No particular reason for that choice, but I started with it and it stuck. Now it’s part of the habit. Apps can provide you with fantastic goal charts and progress reports – who doesn’t live a good progress report?

Start Small.

Many a lofty intention has never really got off the ground because it’s been too complicated or ambitious – You’re far more likely to achieve 3 small walks a week than a 2 hour hike into the next county and back. Also, If you are walking to improve fitness, brisk walking is recommended, so starting small will help build up stamina as well as being a manageable and achievable target.