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Add Variety to Your Walking Routine

Woman walking on trail near water

Do you ever find yourself bored with walking? Boredom can be detrimental to your walking practice and gnaw away at motivation.  If repetition and stagnancy keeps you from loving to walk, keep on reading. We have multiple solutions to keep your walks exciting, varied and healthy for your body and mind.

Drawbacks of Repetitive Walks:

  • Doing the same thing over and over can lead to boredom
  • You may feel less stimulated and engaged in your walk
  • You will not reap all of the benefits that walking can bring to your life. For example, if you are not mixing up your routine by adding in different distances, speeds and terrain, you risk only exercise a certain set of muscle groups.
  • Lack of motivation due to the drawbacks listed above

Benefits of Varying Your Walking Routine:

Varying your workouts is as sensible as varying your food intake. Just as your body craves nourishment from many different food groups, your upper and lower-body muscle groups need to be “fed” with exercise. If you always do the same walk there will be many parts of your body that will go unattended because they’re not required to participate.

  • Mixing up your walks keeps your mind sharp
  • New locations and experiences decreases boredom and increase motivation
  • Walking at different speeds and for different distances require different cardiovascular workloads, which helps maintain a healthy heart
  • Varying terrain offers different muscle groups the opportunity to participate

How to Spice Up Your Walking Routine:

Let’s make your walking routine fun, versatile and well rounded. Here’s a quick menu of walks you can rotate through to keep your mind and body stimulated:

  • Hilly Walks: Work your upper body and strengthen your heart
  • Hiking Trails: Work your lateral muscles and improve your balance
  • Focused/Meditative Walk: Focus on your breath, repeat a sound or watch a point on the horizon to teach your mind to relax by focusing on only one thing
  • Energizing Walk: Inhale deeply for 3 steps, then exhale full for 3 steps to help circulate more Chi through your body
  • Aerobic Walk: Distance walking at a consistent, comfortable pace builds aerobic capacity
  • Fun Walk: Have fun exploring some new territory with a friend
  • Group Walk: Build your social skills while getting fit
  • Form Focus Walk: Take the time to work on improving your bio-mechanics by using the form focuses for proper alignment and relaxation

Tips to Vary Your Walking: 

  • Take a few from the list above and add them into your practice next week and see how they feel.
  • Brisk and hilly walks are great for conditioning and easy walks are great for recovery. Both types will satisfy you mentally and physically. Hopefully your walks will be more satisfying, motivating, and far from boring.
  • If you are new to mixing up your walking routine, remember to use the ChiWalking principle: Gradual Progress. That means you will start from where you are and gradually add in distance, speed, or new terrain while listening to your body.
  • Another rule of thumb would be to alternate your easy and hard walks so that your body has time to recover and build up stamina.

Adding a little “spice” to your weekly walking routine will work wonders on your walking appetite. You might discover some new favorite workouts. You’ll have more to talk about and share with your friends. Your body will be better conditioned and boredom will become a thing of the past.

A detailed guide of how to do all of these walks can be found in the ChiWalking book or Workbook.

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