After what seemed like the longest winter ever (with some seriously evil teases of beautiful weather), I am so excited that spring finally seems here to stay. With two young kids, I could not stand to stay inside one more day and so, I decided to challenge myself to a week of walking.
I wanted to get out and hit the pavement, and my goal was to get in at least a 30-minute walk each day. Thanks to a hand-me-down double BOB and the amazing walking trails super close to my house, I was able to work toward my goal, and now I’m sharing my tips for your own challenge.
1. Start the day ready to walk
I quickly realized that I was going to be more successful if I got up and got ready right away. Even if my day wasn’t going to allow for a walk until later, I got up and laced up so I was ready to go. And it paid off as there were a few days that an opportunity to hit the trail opened up unexpectedly. And even on the days when that didn’t happen, being dressed to walk kept my motivation and excitement high.
2. Make your day “walkable”
We’re all busy and sometimes, doing something for ourselves falls to the end of our to-do lists … or off of that list entirely. One of my favorite ways to get a walk in is to walk for a purpose. In my case, that was getting dinner on the table. I put my girls in the stroller and hung a large cooler bag over the handle bar and we walked to Trader Joe’s to pick up one of those delicious vegetarian frozen lasagnas. Win win!
3. Take the long way to the park
My girls love one particular park in our neighborhood and we’re lucky that it is so close and easy to get to! But “close and easy to get to” does not equal mama getting in some extra steps, so we’ve been taking the long way to the park, and following the same route home. The 20-30 minutes there and back is a great walk for me, and the nice break in the middle where my girls can get some energy out at the park is a bonus.
4. Get excited about your step count
There are lots of devices and apps out there to track your steps. I don’t have a FitBit or Garmin — I just use my iPhone. Specifically, I use Runkeeper, which is a free app that will track your location and show your mileage. In the dollar section at Target, I found a verrrry stylish, hot pink fanny pack/exercise belt. (Putting my phone in the stroller didn’t track my steps, and not all my exercise pants have a pocket.) However you track it, set a goal and each day try to beat your previous day!
5. Recruit a friend
As much as I love chatting with my 2.5-year-old about the color of cars she sees on the street or singing the Sofia theme song with her, walking with a girlfriend can check off two boxes — exercise and girl time! Doing it together will also hold you accountable.
The weather is heating up! How will you challenge yourself now that the sun is shining? —Julie