It’s always a good time to take a walk. As the stresses of the day accumulate, it is frequently relaxing to take a daily, recreational, walk. A time to think, contemplate, and decompress while simultaneously engaging in moderate exercise. Personally, I find walks to be astonishingly therapeutic. For a condensed, or prolonged, amount of time; I can enjoy an external space outside of my home or office, gratefully breathe the crisp Autumn air, and delve a little more deeply into internal considerations I wouldn’t necessarily broach during time allocated to work. Moreover, it’s highly convenient, it doesn’t require a gym membership, and my dog can gleefully join me on an outing. That, to me, is a recipe for contentment, even if it’s necessarily abbreviated. In that spirit, here are 10 ways to improve your daily walks.
Have a Destination
Before you venture forth from your comfortable abode, establish first a destination within walking distance. Especially for a morning walk, in close conjunction with the workday, take a shorter, more somnolent route, to collect your thoughts and center yourself. You don’t need to be power walking while you’re still in a moderate state of slumber; and reaching a settled destination will contribute to a sense of fulfillment and productivity to begin your day. Save the sweat for later.
During the evening, once you’ve returned from work, ideally before dinner, identify a more challenging stroll. Perambulate with a little more intention and eagerness. Perhaps the longer strides taken will assist you in adequately ventilating your stress or mitigating any latent anxieties that were aroused during the day.
however, is key. Wandering aimlessly, while necessary in a fashion,
nevertheless lacks the satisfaction gleaned from aiming for an endpoint and
successfully reaching it. Even if it’s only a small victory, heed the principle
of “aggregation of marginal gains” — Small successes, small improvements, often
engender the fruition of larger ones. Begin and end your day on a positive note
of small victory.
Pro Tip: Meditating at your destination can be an additional way of calming your thoughts if they’re racing.
Integrate Exercise Activities
permitting, it can also be amenable, sometimes preferable, to integrate a slight
exercise routine into your walks. Why not burn an additional few calories
during the duration of your walk? The gym doesn’t offer a monopoly on refining
Personally, I generally set my morning walk destination to one of several nearby parks. The park provides me with the necessary equipment, like benches for tricep dips, open space for air squats or burpees, green grass to complete several sprints, or a staircase to include additional cardiovascular activity.
While your walk can be oriented toward requisite relaxation, it’s seldom a poor idea to circulate additional endorphins into your bloodstream or increase your heart rate via a sustained circuit of exercise. You’ll generate a “natural high” while simultaneously burning unwanted fat.
Pro Tip: Sprints, rather than jogging, are a more effective way of burning fat than a prolonged, congenial jog. A sprint, even if it’s minimal, requires more oxygen intake. Your body will promptly require additional energy, which it will leverage your fat cells for.
Incorporate Technology – 10 Ways to Improve Your Daily Walks
I understand embracing the opportunity to walk should serve as an equal opportunity to temporarily excise yourself from the strains technology imposes on your life. While I recommend putting your cellular device on silent to avoid potential distractions during your walk, I’d similarly encourage you to affix a step-counter on your wrist to monitor your heart rate and step accumulation.
As you may have already been able to surmise, I enjoy setting objectives, even if I occasionally fall short of them. That’s no different with my often-keen enthusiasm in counting my daily steps. Obviously, this is a numeric endeavor that I cannot consciously count and consequently requires the assistance of technology. Hence, the necessity for a Fitbit, Apple Watch, or similar product.
It is supremely satisfying, at the end of a day, to take a swift glance at my watch and briefly acknowledge the amount of physical activity — often taken without any overweening exertion or effort— that I engaged in. It yields a small, temporal, sense of pride and marks another box on my to-do list.
Pro Tip: While Apple Watches and Fitbits are the most common step-counters on the market, they tend to be exorbitantly expensive. There are certainly, however, older, more antiquated models that may accommodate your budget. Additionally, the holidays are fast approaching. Put one on your wish-list.
As alluded to, walks are a time to both reflect on and distill the vicissitudes of the prior day, week, or month. Perhaps your children are having difficulty in school. Or, on a brighter note, maybe you’ve received a promotion. Or mayhap, there are simply daily, quotidian, tasks that require brief rumination to promptly complete at a later juncture.
walks can certainly be a time for meditation or exercise, as we’ve alluded to;
however, they can also be a quiet time to necessarily organize and categorize
your mind. Walking offers ample opportunity to conjoin physical and mental
activity into a daily routine. Do not militate against the latter, especially
if there are critical items that you need to mentally digest.
Pro Tip: If, upon reflecting during your walk, you stagger upon an epiphany or reach mental clarity regarding a particular issue, be sure to briefly note it in a daily journal. It may provide you with encouragement during a later time, when you’re struggling to cope with a similar issue.
Take Your Dog
What activity isn’t fantastically enhanced by the steadfast accompaniment of a pup? Our furry companions are portable, endearing, combustible engines of delight and joy. Even more conveniently, they love the outdoors, they love to get their paws muddy and wet, and they love nothing more than the opportunity to galivant around gleefully with their person(s). What more incentive could you possibly conceive of for a daily walk?
As for myself, I’m a proud owner of an Australian Shepherd named Spud. Highly kinetic breeds by nature, my pup affords me integral encouragement in awakening me from my morning slumber, begrudgingly dumping myself out of bed, before I join him on his zealous crusade through the sleepy streets of Tustin, CA. He inquisitively observes my morning exercise circuit at the park, defeats me with a champion’s hubris during our sprints, and displays manifold appreciation of the grand minutiae of life as we walk to and from home. He’s a good boy.
Find your own pawed partner to optimize your walks. Nothing else can so quickly transform an otherwise lugubrious morning into an emphatically positive one.
Pro Tip: Another purchase I’d recommend is “The Buddy System” leash. It offers a waistband that you can attach your leash to, freeing your arms for longer strides on your walk. I’ve included a link to the product below:
Listen to a Podcast or Music – 10 Ways to Improve Your Daily Walks
There are so many diverse ways to orient your walk. That’s another seminal feature of walking: It allows you to flexibly dispense your time in ways seldom presented during the natural flow of the day. It’s a rare opportunity for personal maintenance, even edification.
Cultivate, therefore, a list of podcasts that you’re drawn to. Podcasts offer discourse on every topic imaginable, from the contemporary political landscape to esoteric lectures on the distant past, to the arena of sports, to fatuous discussions on the prosaic issues percolating in popular culture. Whatever your fancy, you should be able to easily identify a podcast personality that melds with your own interests.
If you’re averse to the notion of listening to a podcast, indulge instead in a music playlist that energizes you. Spotify offers plans that are only $9.99/month, where you can play whichever musical genre you’re inclined to.
Regarding podcasts: For sports fans, I’d recommend the
“Bill Simmons Podcast”. For movie fans, I’d recommend “The Rewatchables.” For political observers, I’d recommend “The Joe Rogan Experience,” or “Lovett or Leave It.” For fans of casual conversation on multifarious topics, I’d recommend “Club Random with Bill Maher.” For all other recommendations, ask a friend or family member.
Music recommendations include Tim McGraw, Sam Hunt, Shania Twain, Florida-Georgia Line, Thin Lizzy, John Legend, Kanye West, Chance The Rapper, The Eagles, Billy Joel and Queen. For all other recommendations, scroll through your set of recommended playlists on Spotify or ask a friend or a family member.
Alternate Routes and Trails
is frequently King. Not so, I say, in relation to walking. I don’t mean to
compose a diatribe against the value of consistency, but redundancy can be, well,
redundant. It is characteristic of people to become bored with constancy. In
the appropriate context, variability is a key trait in lending enthusiasm to
It is no different with walks. Especially if you’re located in a rural area, there are myriad trails to tread, numerous paths to brashly traverse. Don’t confine yourself to one or two, but rather, diversify your experience. Refer to a local guide to explore unknown territory, areas of your community that are foreign to you. If you’re a newcomer to town, particularly, it can be an expeditious way of quickly acclimating to your new environment.
Pro Tip: If you’re located in a more urban environment, there may be a dearth of nature trails to explore. Use Google Maps to locate a comfortable walk somewhere nearby, or outside of your community.
During the weekends, when you have more recreational time at your disposal, don’t neglect to partake in the more challenging companion of walking: Hiking. If you live in the foothills, or the mountains, there will likely be a wide variety of hiking trails to select from.
Pro Tip: If you opt to hike, you’ll likely be secreting additional sweat. Bring a water bottle, therefore, to ensure you stay hydrated.
Join a Friend – 10 Ways to Improve Your Daily Walks
It is likely no surprise, but surely, many of your friends must also engage in the occasional walk. If you’re eager for accompaniment on your walk, call a friend and discuss the possibility of joining them on their morning or evening route. For me, walks tend to be more of a chance to decompress; but for others, it can be a chance to be convivial and reconnect with folks you may have lost touch with.
if you’re feeling isolated during your walks, contrive to build a larger
community of fleet-footed companions. The most pivotal suggestion I could offer
is to fashion walks that make you happy. If that necessitates the inclusion of
several friends, the more the merrier.
Pro Tip: Visit a local community center if there are any local groups you can join, who organize daily or weekly walks.
During your walk, embrace gratitude. Be it a congenial and casual stroll, or a more rigorous and challenging power-walk, take stock of what surrounds you. Perhaps your pup is alongside you, mischievously trotting, nose turned toward the sky, tongue lolling lazily outside of his mouth. Perhaps you notice the trees transforming into deeper shades of red and orange. Perhaps a friendly passerby gives you a morning greeting, a sunrise howdy-doo. Respond in turn with an amiable smile, take a deep breath of the brisk Autumn air, and feel confident that it’s going to be a good day.
Pro Tip: If you have done a journal, write down a gratitude list at the end of either your morning or evening walk.
Happy walking! Organize your walks as you see fit, but make sure you dedicate this time to enhancing yourself, first and foremost. A morning and evening walk is time allotted for you, specifically. Some may construe that as selfish way of phrasing things, but remember always, that righting your own ship is instrumental in being at your best for others. Walking can offer a helpful assist in that regard.