5 Ways to Stay Motivated to Walk

I’m honored to serve as a 2016 Michigan Fitness Ambassador. I live on Mackinac Island year round, but until eight years ago, I lived in East Lansing and owned a corporate and community fitness company called Aerobics Plus. I taught 3-5 high energy classes every day, 6 days a week for 25 years.

Owning a company was a huge fitness motivator back then, but when I decided to retire and move to our home on the Island, staying motivated became a challenge. Since I’m not a runner, walking became my activity of choice.

Here are 5 ways to keep you motivated in a walking program:

1. Find a walking partner

I found walking alone  not only boring, but easy to skip with any excuse. What I needed was someone to call and say, “Hey, were are you? Let’s go!” And I did the same for her. We found that having each other was important to keep our goals on track. Oh sure, occasionally we both wanted to stay home, sit on the deck and watch the boats, but thankfully that wasn’t the norm.

2. Map out a route

We created a route that was safe, but challenging—one that had a few hills, but nothing that would discourage us. It’s not hard to find hills on the Island, that’s for sure!

3. Time your walks

We timed every walk to the second and recorded it. Our goal was to finish our route a bit faster each time. By faster, I mean only seconds at first, but then by minutes as the weeks passed. When we reached a point where we couldn’t walk any faster without injury, we increased our distance.

4. Walk to good music

We walked to marches at first, and then to more popular songs. Because I had a small variable speed recorder left over from aerobic teaching days, we could speed up or slow down a song to make it the right speed for our walk that day. I checked eBay and there are still variable speed recorders available if you’re interested.

5. Set reasonable goals

We set a goal that we would walk two days a week—the particular day of the week varied depending on our schedules. The goal was to walk five days a week by the end of the summer.

Oh by the way, I am 71–years-old and my walking partner is almost 80. It is never to late to start walking!

Written by Joan Barch, 2016 Michigan Fitness Ambassador

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