More Walking Fun in 5 Days and 5 Quirky Ways

Walking fun for a man resting on a bench in a park checking a map and a cup of coffee.

The trouble with going walking is that, like any exercise, you have to do it over and over again. How does that make you feel? Irritated, exasperated or guilty when you don’t do any? That doesn’t make your walking fun.

It’s not like breathing where you can forget about it most of the time. Your brain takes care of doing that when you’re busy. Ok, we can all knock up a couple of thousand steps doing our daily tasks without thinking, but usually we need to do a bit more than that.  And that’s where it gets tricky. You have to make the effort to exercise. Sometimes that is very hard to do, even if it is something as simple as walking. 

But you really don’t want to turn into a flabby couch potato. So, how to overcome that reluctance? What to do? 

Let’s keep it simple.  We’re just looking at walking. If you want to keep doing it, you are going to have to make walking fun. So instead of boring same old, let’s look at a five day plan to get you out there, having fun walking.

Some people like to do the same walk each day. It can become a bit dull doing the same walk each day. It’s not so bad if you’re out in nature because there is always something different to look at. Nature is pretty good at changing through the seasons.  But it’s harder in a city.

So here’s day one’s idea to make it more fun. Try walking to the nearest bus stop. Get on the first bus that comes along. Ride with it for as many stops as you want your walk to be. Then get off and walk back home. Ta-da!!

Your walk will be completely different because you will start at a different place and see different things happening around you. And new things make it more fun!  

Next time, you can get on a bus going the opposite way to the first bus you took and have a different mystery tour.

Have a hunt around to find a nice place to stop, either when you’re out for your usual walk or look at a map where you can also see photos. It would be good if it had a nice view and even better if it has a nice bench to sit on. Or can you find a place to sit on the ground which isn’t cold or wet or too dirty? Maybe an empty children’s playground would be a good spot. Go for a swing and remember how you used to love it when you were little. 

How about a little picnic that you take with you? A hot drink in a thermos flask and a sandwich might be fun.  Think of something that would turn your walking into fun for you.

You can read a book or simply sit in silence and enjoy the peace.

Now you’re found your place, you can head for it whenever you go walking and give yourself the gift of some me-time.

Man in blue shirt is making his walking fun by sitting under a tree in a quiet spot in a park reading a book.

Maybe, it’s your chance to soothe away the stress of the day with some meditation.  If you’re not used to that, just sit with your eyes closed and listen to all the noises you can hear. Maybe keep count of how many noises you identify. After a few minutes, open your eyes and look to see where the noises came from.

It’s fun getting out of the house or the office. There is a wonderful feeling of freedom to be found outside. You take in more light and your hormones get a boost that makes you feel that life is fun.

It’s excellent for your health too. Your skin drinks in the Vitamin D from the sunlight. Any greenery gives your eyes a restful view. You get a mental boost from looking at the forever changing pattern of clouds or sunlight, bringing changes in the weather.  It relieves the stress that can build up at work or in densely built surroundings and it boosts our creativity and problem solving. And that makes you feel so much better about life. It’s great for your creativity and that means more fun in the rest of your day.

If you’re wearing the right clothes, it’s fun outside even if it is cold and raining. You can jump in puddles if you feel like it. Even if it wasn’t the most enjoyable time you ever had, it’s more fun when you get home because you appreciate your home comforts all the more.

This is one of my favourite occupations.  Start off giving people you pass a nod and say good morning (or whatever relevant time of day.  As you get a bit braver, you can up the conversation to something like ‘It’s lovely weather for ducks’, if it’s raining.  Or some other flippant remark about the weather.  You can ask somebody the best way to where you’re going. Or if they know a good coffee shop you could go to.

A lady in a red and white outfit enjoying walking fun by holding a map and talking to a stranger who wearing yellow jumper, jacket and scarf, who points the way with his right arm extended

It’s just a little bit of social contact. It’s fun (but maybe a bit scary if you’re not used to it). It’s an achievement that can lift your mood and make you smile. And it may lead to making a new friend. Plus it gives you a reason to go out. After all, you won’t meet any strangers if you stay indoors all the time.

Choose your moment carefully though. It’s not the best thing to do in a big impersonal city perhaps, nor late at night when you’re hurrying home. 

I tried this out first in France because I wanted to improve my French. It’s a very good technique for that!  I found it a lot of fun.

Setting yourself a walking challenge can increase your walking fun enormously. How about challenging yourself to walk backwards (do it safely of course).

You can compete with yourself by adding more steps to achieve each time you go out walking. Or, if you have a phone that keeps a record of the distance and time you take, you can challenge yourself to walk your routine walk more quickly. Carrying out all five days of walking fun ideas would be a good challenge too!

Challenges are better for both your mental and physical health. A bit more speed gets your heart rate up and sends your blood whizzing round your body.  It sets off chains of reaction that favourably affect your physical health, such as lowering your blood pressure and cholesterol levels. It triggers release of feel-good hormones in your brain. So, a bit of fun and you’ll feel a lot more cheerful from the dollops of dopamine that your brain rewards you with.

Everyone likes a bit of fun now and then.  And a regular dose of fun can make all difference to whether you get into the habit of walking or not. If your mindset is more about ‘I’m off for a bit of fun’, rather than ‘I’ve got to do some exercise’, you’re far more likely to get on out there.

You can improve your mood even further if you give yourself a prize for having met the goal of trying each of your 5 days of walking fun. That’s in addition to giving yourself a pat on the back.  Even better, you could celebrate with friends.  Do let me know what you manage to do to make your walking more fun.

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