Whether you’ve been participating in National Walking Month 2016 or just do a lot of walking in general, we thought we’d give a few suggestions of things to do while walking.
As we listed in our Mental Health Benefits of Walking article, walking is an easy, cheap exercise which is excellent for both physical and mental health.
Listen to something
Music (whether it’s the tunes you love or something new) is the obvious choice here, but podcasts, newspaper articles, and audiobooks are excellent for longer walks. Podcasts on many subjects are easy to find from various sources, and a directory of free audiobooks can be found at the Open Culture website.
Link [via Open Culture]
Walking time can also be a great time to catch up on family or friends. They can provide virtual company which helps to pass the time, and conversation with good friends is an excellent way to maintain good mental health. If you can talk for a long time with people on the phone, then they may also be good walking company if you want to invite someone along.
Take a photograph (or ten)
Depending on the time of day you go for a walk, you can have plenty of opportunity for taking photographs. You can challenge yourself by limiting yourself to just one photograph, or just go for it and take pictures of anything that takes your interest. These photos can act as a chronicle of your walks and the progress you’ve made.
Play a mental game
From playing a simple game of observance (“how many red cars will I see on my walk?”), to practising mindfulness, playing mental games whilst physically exercising is a great workout for body and brain.
Go on a tour
Depending on where you live, your town or city may have walking maps of local areas which can be found online, in tourist-friendly places (such as museums or art galleries), or in a local library. If such maps are not available to you, pick a landmark/spot you’ve seen from a distance or wanted to visit and go there.
As with mental games, making plans whilst exercising can be an effective and beneficial use of time. Whether it’s a daily, weekly or general plan, thinking about which priorities to tackle once you get back home can give you a better perspective then thinking about them at home or at work.
Break it up
Whether it’s going down a street you’ve always wanted to explore, or aiming for a completely new area, anything that prolongs or varies your walk can help keep things fresh and interesting.
If you’re wanting to use technology to log your travels or get ideas for new routes, we suggest you check out our guide to walking apps: