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!

national walking day

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.

national walking day

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:

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.

Do you enjoy walking? Do you have anything to add to this list? Let me know in the comments!

47 Comments

  1. I’ve literally just come back from a walk with the dogs before getting to work. We went to the park, had a play and came back. They are now snoozing next to me while I can get stuff done as I feel refreshed! But yes, started the whole walking in lockdown and loved it, never going back x

  2. This was just the post I needed today! I am trying to set myself a walking challenge, as although I love to walk, I often get busy with other things and forget to fit it in. I am lucky in that I can walk to work and back every day, but it is only quite a short walk and doesn’t really compensate for the hours I sit at a desk! I find picking out a good podcast always gets me moving, but you have given me some more good ideas to get going with my challenge : )

  3. I love walking – not hiking but I do quite like a walk along the shore or through the city. I have to walk J back and forth to preschool so I always get out most days which is good xx

  4. I walk during all of my breaks at work to get away from a stressful environment. Even if I’m tired, I find it gives me more energy in a way.

  5. If lockdown taught me one thing, it was to enjoy walking a lot more than I did and now I challenge myself to hit 11k a day rather than the 10k

  6. My husband and I walk every afternoon after he’s done with his work for the day. He works from home, so it’s a nice way to clear his head and change the scenery.

  7. I absolutely love taking walks – for me I set up challenges within my fitbit as it helps push me to go even farther and I love the idea of seeing my progress. I’m also big into podcasts with my wireless headphone as I walk as it helps me feel productive during my walks 🙂 Great list Jenny!

  8. I absolutely love just going for a walk, especially through the woodlands. Unfortunately I can’t really do that anymore as I’m wheelchair bound but I do love going for a long walk along the beach with friends when the weather is nice. I just love getting out for some fresh air, it’s so good for your mental health. Would you believe I got my gorgeous Mabel to help me get out more and ended up with dog who absolutely hates walking? Haha. Thank you so much for sharing this lovely Xo

    Elle – ellegracedeveson

  9. I like the way you arranged this post, and it really highlights the benefits of walking. Being out in nature is a great thing and a daily walk outdoors immerses you in fresh air and a new view of the world. Indoor air does not do the trick for people! As you mentioned, it is very important to be comfortable or you will not want to take a walk in the first place!

  10. I walk with my dogs every day – morning & evening. Sometimes I also go somewhere with my friend or my mom 😀 Love these tips so much, Jen x

  11. I love my walks! It’s so much easier to accomplish now that we’ve got more daylight in the evening. I also find that if we plan ahead on the weekends to find a picturesque hike, we can log so many more miles

  12. I am one of the weird ones that loves exercise and walking (or hiking) so for me lockdown just really helped me go on more than I had been allowed previously due to work. I mean for me I love going on walks by myself either with music or not just because it feels like it is my time to myself. But I do love a friend catch up walk too! Great post x

  13. I had no idea there was a national walking day! These are great tips to get more active. I walk a lot with Hugo, but try to go for a brisker walk if ever my body isn’t up for a run. I’m only 5 minutes from the beach though so it isn’t hard to make it a scenic route x

  14. Great tips! Being familiar with both the UK and the US I must say the UK does walking so much better. I tend to log 15,000+ steps a day when I visit the UK. It’s easy because everything is so close together and public transport requires less driving so we walk to the train station and then walk once we depart from the train. In the US, we drive literally everywhere and Americans love to complain about how far they had to park from the entrance to the shop or park. Thanks for giving tips for walking more…Americans need it over here!

  15. I didn’t realise national walking day was a thing. That’s cool though! Were all walkers in this house. Were very lucky in North Yorkshire that we have beautiful scenery right on our doorstep. Even the school run with Amelia is a good one. X

  16. I love these tips! Before lockdown, I was always someone who never wanted to walk anywhere either – then when it was the only thing we were allowed to do, I loved it! I take lots of photos for Instagram/my blog, so I try to find different, nice places for us to go and walk – that way we’re exercising at the same time ☺️
    J E M M A http://www.ohhjemma.com

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