Keeping your daily walks interesting is critical to maintaining your motivation to exercise, because walking should be fun and interesting in addition to being great for your health. A walking routine may feel fresh and exciting when you first start out, but can sometimes become stale over time.
Fortunately, you don’t need to completely change your walking route or routine to freshen it up. You can keep your tried and true walking route fun and interesting by keeping your eyes open and by using some strategy and imagination.
Try one of these 9 easy tricks on your next outing for a fun twist on your regular walking routine.
You’ll probably see a lot of interesting people during your walk. Put a different spin on people watching by creating stories for the people you see. Make up backstories, dreams, jobs, or even whole lives to the people you see. You can let your imagination take you anywhere.
Pay attention to the people around you and try to give out 10 compliments on each walk. You can brighten someone’s day with just a smile or a wave to a person who you see every day on your walk. You’ll find your walk will be less boring, with the added benefit of making someone else’s day a little brighter. Giving compliments makes you feel happier too! If you’re naturally shy or if there’s a safety issue, you can always just think of compliments you could give without actually doing it. You’ll still feel great!
Walk the Route Backwards
You don’t have to literally walk backward, but walk your route in reverse. By going the other way, you might notice something you hadn’t before. You can spend the time you’re walking trying to pick out what seems different when going the other way. You can also make slight changes to your route, even just going 1 block in a different direction. You may find something completely new just around the corner!
See new sights
Try to find at least one new feature of your neighborhood and trail every time you walk. There’s always something that you can find – an interesting house, a unique sign or an old tree – that helps you understand your neighborhood even better. If you can’t find anything new, try walking at a different time. You may notice new sights during morning walking than the afternoon, for instance.
Looking for new features or interesting sights is a great way to find photo opportunities for you to send to friends, post on social media or post to your Pacer feed. You don’t have to be an “influencer” to take nice photos of things you see on your walks. Taking some great pictures will help you remember all of the great sights, and can motivate you to keep walking until you find something new to photograph.
Mix things up
Find at least one spot on your walking route where you can mix things up. Is there a market or small shop you can browse halfway through your route? Maybe a park where you can walk partway along the grass? Switching up activities can take your mind of walking and prevent your walk from feeling boring. If you’re used to walking outside, try finding somewhere indoors to walk where you can get a few steps – It could be window shopping or walking in a large store.
The Sign Game
If you’ve ever taken a family road trip, you probably learned some fun car games. Not all of them need to be played from a car! While out on your walk try to find all the letters of the alphabet (in order) from the signs, license plates, and clothing you see. Try a variation, or use your favorite game when walking starts to get derivative.
A lot of libraries have audiobooks that can be checked out online through an app – this can save you from having to buy them. Listening to audiobooks is great on its own, but listening while walking lets you put a dent in your reading list while keeping your mind occupied. Two birds, one stone! You can also use retailers like Audible – which has given our Pacer users a special extended free trial.
Similar to the suggestions with music, pick out several podcasts and see which ones you like. Learn something, keep up to date on the latest news or just stay entertained.
There are a lot of different ways you can incorporate music into your walk. You could pick a new artist/band for each walk, one you’ve never heard of (or just one you haven’t listened too) and try out their music. You could find songs you haven’t heard from an artist you do like. Or, create a playlist of songs that make you want to get up and move and play it during your walks.
Walking is one of the most versatile, varied activities you can do. It can be as intense or leisurely as you make it, and you can do it anywhere. If walking starts to feel like a chore for you, get creative and mix things up!
If you haven’t downloaded the Pacer app yet, download Pacer for free (on mobile)! You can also check out our website (mobile or desktop) or follow our blog for more great walking and healthy lifestyle tips.