2 Major Hacks to Get Off Your Arse and Walk More

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Why Us Busy Moms Owe It To Ourselves to Walk More as Part of Our Health and Fitness Practice. And how to make it happen.

 

This whole past week I’ve awoken with a distinct cloud of blah-ness hanging over my head. I think this time of year it happens way more frequently because we’re approaching the tail end of technical winter. And of course I know I need to be optimistic. I need to have a happier disposition. Be more grateful. Walk more. Read with more intent. Love more. But gosh darn it, where is the damn sun??!!

I’m trying hard to stay on task with my HIIT workouts and strength training. Eating healthy is crazy important, but even that gets muddled when all you can do is stay indoors because it’s either too cold, foggy, or rainy. (Seriously-WHAT is going on, we live outside of Houston.)

 

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I know I have a bit (a lot?) of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). I’m from Florida, where the sunshine and heat are abundant. And although where I’m from does have a teeny bit of winter, there aren’t many days without at least a LITTLE sunshine. This makes me feel like my goal in life is to become a hibernating Mama bear.

Do you feel like this too? I’m seriously multi-tasking into another window to look up ‘safe’ tanning beds just to trick my insane in the membrain into thinking I’ve been lying on a beach somewhere.

The thing right now that I am thankful for, though, is that I have a tread-climber at home. When I bought it, I thought it would strictly be for the hottest of summer because you’re very likely to meld into the asphalt if you try to run or walk in that heat.

But–BUT–I wasn’t anticipating the barren wasteland of fitness that is winter outdoors. So I’ve taken an oath to make that thing worth the dough spent on it. I’ve committed to using it faithfully to walk more. Oh yeah, and make my Fitbit happy.

Think on this, though, Mama. We were designed to walk for miles and miles to hunt and gather our food. Yet, in modern society, we spend most of our time sitting down.  (Why is it more in the winter…?) That’s so NOT good for our bodies, and can lead to a host of health problems. This is probably one of the most important reasons to make an effort to move around and go for a walk each day.

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Of course, that’s easier said than done. Most of us sit for our work, we eat sitting down, and to be honest all we want to do when we come home from work is plop down on the couch for a Netflix marathon until bedtime.

However– Getting in that movement is an integral part of your overall Self-Care. And thus, you need to figure out how to get your act in gear to walk more.

 

How To Get In The Habit Of Walking More

 

So yeah, of course getting and staying in the habit to walk more each day can be a bit of a challenge. After all, we’ve got tiny humans to feed, dress, sign school forms for, go to school events for, take to activities and play-dates, actually do some work, keep the house up, deal with finances, make meals for, oh yeah–and participate in a romantic relationship. (Those things do still take two, ya know.)

But that’s exactly what we need to do. We need to get in the habit of going for that walk just like we’re in the habit of brushing our teeth twice a day or taking out the trash on Tuesdays. Once it’s a well-ingrained habit, it won’t be as much of a challenge to make sure we go for a walk each day.

 

A great place to start is to find a walking route you enjoy. Your favorite walk may offer beautiful vistas, but if it’s a 30 minute drive there and back, you’ll be less likely to do it every single day. Instead, save that specific walk for the weekends and come up with something convenient and pleasant for your everyday walking routine.

Try to find a route in your own neighborhood so you can leave right from your front door. Just throw on those super cute sneaks that just got delivered from Amazon and start walking.

 

Taking the same route every day helps form that habit. It’s also encouraging to notice that you can walk the same loop faster or with less effort over time. It proves that you’re gaining strength and endurance.

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Listening to your favorite music, podcast or audio books is also helpful. It will make the time go by faster and give you something else to look forward to. You can even use your favorite media as a way to bribe yourself to go for your daily walk. Let’s say you have a couple of podcasts you enjoy. Save them for your walks and only let yourself listen to them while you’re walking. It’s a great incentive to get out there even on days when you’re not feeling it.

 

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Also, consider walking with other people. Find a walking group in your area, or talk a friend or neighbor into becoming your walking buddy. Not only is it more fun to walk when you have someone to talk to, it also has some built-in accountability. It’s much easier to skip out on walking when you know that other people are waiting for you and relying on you to join them. (And double credit is if you commit to that type-A friend that won’t let you skip out on something unless you’re literally lying in a hospital bed.)

 

 

Using A Pedometer or Tracker To Walk More

 

Setting aside some time to go for a 45 minute walk isn’t always easy. We all live busy lives and between family and work, fitting in a workout isn’t always possible. What if I told you that you didn’t have to dedicate a set block of time for your walking workouts? What if you could get the same health benefits by working in a little more activity here and there throughout your day? And what if there was a fun little gadget that helped you keep track of it and motivated you to move more?

 

There is and it’s called a pedometer. You can pick up an inexpensive model at your local super store or order it from Amazon. Or you can go with something a little fancier like a Fitbit.

{Read here about why I freaking love my Fitbit Charge 2!}

Another option is to check your smart phone. Most phones these days have a pedometer built in. All you need to do is download a free app and you’re good to go.

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The pedometer or fitness tracker will track how many steps you take on any given day. It will also track how many minutes you’ve spent being active and how many miles you’ve walked. In other words, it keeps track of how much exercise you get during your day.

And the good news is that it doesn’t matter if you head out after work for a 45 minute walk, or if you work out in little spurts here and there throughout the day. Maybe you start your day by parking a little further away from the office and walking a couple of hundred extra steps. Then you take a quick stroll during your lunch break. You wrap up your day by walking around the park while your kids play. And just like that you’ve gotten your exercise in without having to block out any additional time.

 

Give it a try. Put on a pedometer or fitness tracker. Or start tracking with that phone you’re always carrying around anyway and see how much you’re walking around any given day. From there, try to get a little more active as time goes by until you hit your stepping goal. For most of us 10,000 steps per day is a good long term goal, but if you’re feeling more ambitious than that, go for it.

 

Keeping track of your steps is very motivating. Looking at your pedometer or fitness tracker and realizing you’re 2,000 steps away from your daily goal may be just the motivation you need to head out for that after dinner stroll. Or treadmill stroll, if you’re still stuck in winter or the rainy season.

 

Seriously, Mama, don’t let this super easy fitness component flee your mind.

 

The benefits of walking are only a small part to helping you be the best darn Mama you can be to those little mini-you’s running around the house that you love to pieces!

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Know someone that could use help with motivation to walk more? Please SHARE this post!

 

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