Deciding to put yourself on a walking program is the first step towards getting in better shape and adding years to your life. There are many health benefits that can be gained from walking not to mention all the pleasure you'll get from being outdoors, whether you're alone, with a friend or family member or walking your dog. Unfortunately, many people start off with good intentions of walking regularly but either get sidetracked or quickly lose their motivation. Here are some tips on how to stay motivated with your walking program.
Start goals but make them small goals that are realistic as well as achievable. If your goals are to "out of reach", it will be very easy to get discouraged and quit. This is especially true if you haven't been exercising in a while. If you're just starting out, a good goal may be to go on a couple five minute walks per day. Once that becomes easy, you can increase it up to 15 to 20 minutes each time. If you try to do too much too soon, you may end up with pain or an injury, which is a major reason why many people quit walking. The key is to start slow and work yourself up to your final goal.
Don't walk the same route every time or you'll quickly become bored. The more interesting your walk, the longer you'll want to be walking. Even though your walking program may be your main source of exercise, you can still mix it up with other activities such as biking, soccer with your kids, jumping rope or any number of physical activities that you're familiar with.
The more fun you can make your walking program, the more likely you'll be to stick with it. If there's something about your workouts that you're not comfortable with, try something different. Ask a friend or family member to walk with you. It's always more fun when you're spending time with good company that you enjoy.
A major reason many people state for not walking or exercising regularly is lack of time. Make your walking program part of your daily routine the same as you fit your shower or favorite television program into you day. We tend to make time for what we want to make time for so make your walking a steadfast rule. Do it every day!
You know how important it is to have someone tell you they're proud of you. Tell yourself how proud you are of yourself after each session. If you are having a bad day, take a day off and don't beat yourself up over it. Acknowledge all that you've done and how great you've been about sticking with your schedule and track your progress so you can be proud.