On the first Wednesday in April every year, the US supports National Walking Day. A day which encourages people to spend at least 30 minutes of their day to walking, to improve mental well-being and physical fitness and get outside in the fresh air. Although I’m in the UK, I’ve experienced the incredible benefits of walking over the last couple of years, so I was eager to write something to hopefully encourage someone reading this to do some walking too – wherever you’re from!
Prior to lockdown 1.0 back in 2020, I hated walking. I wouldn’t typically walk more than I really needed to. And although I loved going on days out and staycations, I always dreaded the prospect of having to do loads of walking whilst on those trips, so typically we’d drive everywhere.
Looking back now, I must have missed so much just because I was too lazy to walk. And that’s all it was – laziness. I was perfectly able and capable of walking. I just couldn’t be bothered. Plus, my anxiety at the time was so bad, I was constantly worried something terrible was going to happen and walking would be an inconvenience.
When lockdown happened, everyone and their Nan started going for their daily walks, with permission from Boris. People who likely hadn’t gone for regular daily walks before in their lives but felt so cooped up with being at home all day every day, it was the only thing they were allowed to do with the pandemic sweeping the country.
Like everyone else, I started my daily walks in lockdown. I live RIGHT NEXT to a park, so I had no excuse really. Over time, I started to notice these walks were a seriously important part of my day. They were clearing my head and keeping me grounded, at a time where tensions were so fraught and high.
I walk so many places now; if I can walk somewhere, I will. I love the clarity it gives me, the time for myself and still to this day, it helps me clear my head. On days where I’m feeling lost or angry or depressed, a walk is always beneficial. So today I wanted to share how you can incorporate walking into your daily life more for National Walking Day!
8 ways to walk more (and enjoy it!) in 2022 for National Walking Day:
Arrange to do it with a friend
If you need an extra boost or someone to hold you accountable, then there’s no better way to do that than going for a walk with a friend! If money is tight, a free walk around the park can suffice and give you that well needed physical and mental boost as well as some intentional quality time with a loved one.
Set yourself goals
If you’re someone like me, who’s motivated by goals, then this could be a great way to get you walking more, way beyond National Walking Day! Set yourself a daily step goal and the satisfaction from hitting that goal every day will make you want to carry on walking.
Listen to something you enjoy whilst walking
If you’re worried you’re going to get bored whilst walking, then charge your phone before you go and listen to something along the way. You might consider a podcast or music. I always find walking to music really boosts my mood as you’re getting double the positive vibes from music and physical activity!
Walk somewhere beautiful
If you’re able to, find somewhere nice to go for your walks. This can be tricky, depending on where you live. My usual park is FAR from beautiful so if that’s the case for you, make it your mission when you go for your walks to find something beautiful in it. A cherry blossom tree, a cute dog coming to say hi or a pretty bird.
Incorporate walking into your every day
If there’s somewhere you usually drive to that you COULD walk to, then start by replacing one car journey with a walk. Before long, it’ll turn into a routine and you won’t consider jumping in the car any more. Perhaps walking to a bakery in the morning for breakfast or walking to the train station instead of getting the bus.
Take the dog (or borrow a dog)
If you have a dog and you’re not the person that typically takes it for a walk then that’s something super easy that will get you walking more! If you don’t have a dog, perhaps you could ask a neighbor if they need their dog walking? It’ll be a nice gesture and encourage you to walk more!
Turn it into an activity
If you need some direction and purpose with your walks and just walking aimlessly isn’t for you then you can turn your walks into an activity to make them more interesting. Maybe walk to a nature park with your camera if you’re into photography or walk to somewhere with lots of birds and do some bird watching.
Dress for comfort
There’s nothing that ruins a walk than not being comfortable. So make sure you dress for comfort and have a few items of clothing that are your go-to pieces for your walks. This means you won’t have to think about what to wear and you can leave the house with the knowledge that you’ll be comfortable. You might want to try Adidas clothing for that.
I hope this post encourages you to start walking some more and gives you some ideas for how you can enjoy National Walking Day and walking in general and incorporate it more into your daily life. It’s a wonderful act of self care. And has a ton of mental health benefits too.