Unexpected Ways to Make Walking Fun
Whether you are brand new to walking for fitness, or you are looking for ways to change up your daily walking routine, be sure to red through these ways to make walking fun!
Inside this article: From ways to get rewarded for your walks to gamifying your next outing, there are tons of ways to make an everyday walk more enjoyable.
Some don't cost a dime, while others will not be free. But the health benefits of walking surely make it worth your while. If I have a partner promo code or referral affiliate link to help you out, I will include them below as well.
Walking is an amazing way to give your body that all-important, daily exercise.
Walking holds a very special place in my heart. When I was a stay at home mom I found myself feeling very isolated, housebound, and well… a bit depressed.
When my daughter started preschool I would sling us all into the car, shoot over to school and search for parking, lugging in little baby brother. It was such a short drive but it was draining and exhausting.
One day I realized….helllooooo…we actually live close enough to walk!
When I started walking it meant that every day I was getting out into nature. I was getting a bit of exercise and fresh air. I was seeing people- making friends even! And I had guaranteed, distraction-free time with my sweet little kiddos.
In hindsight, I truly credit walking with saving my sanity.
This year will be the last of 8 years of walking my kids to school! Next year, the little guy will take the bus. I'm going to miss my daily walk time with him so much.
I have been looking for ideas for staying motivated to walk even after I no longer need to get my son to school.
As a work-from-home mom, it is not always easy to focus on my own health and fitness but I have learned to make myself a priority.
Here are some ideas I found, let me know if I have missed your favorite one, or if I help you find a new one!
Basic Walking Ideas
These are the obvious ones. But hey, even mental exercises like brainstorming can use a good warm up. 😉
- Walking with Friends – Whether you walk with the same partner 3 times a week, or schedule a catch up with someone new every day, having company on your walks is an easy way to make walking more fun.
- Walking Groups – If you are new to town or can't think of anyone nearby to walk with, consider finding a walking group. Some places to look for walking groups include your parks and rec department, local gyms, moms groups, or websites like meetup or facebook. Another place to ask is the information desk of your local shopping mall. Malls often open early to allow walkers to take advantage of the hallways just like using an indoor track.
- Listening to Music – For safety I always recommend only listening in one ear, or turning your volume down pretty far. BUT. Music can be a hugely motivating aspect of a good walk. Make yourself a playlist, or check out an app like Rock My Run which can sync the beat to your pace. I like the option to set a specific Beats Per Minute, which keeps me walking at a nice clip.
- Walk Outdoors, Find Somewhere New – If you like taking long walks but find it boring to circle the same walking route over and over, it is time to shake it up. Use an app like AllTrails to look for nearby walking trails, which you can sort by degree of difficulty. You can also search the web for local forest preserves and state parks to find someplace new.
RELATED: 20+ LOW IMPACT WORKOUT VIDEOS for the ABSOLUTE BEGINNER (HINT: Several are walking workouts!)
There is an app for everything these days, and walking is no different. Check out these apps which range from motivation and inspiration to gamification!
99Walks – This falls under several categories. I could list this as a walking reward, as a way to find a walking community AND a source for walking workouts and podcasts.
Basically, you sign up, set your own monthly goal and get to walking. When you hit your goal, you earn a bracelet. But is it so much more than that. Built with an inspiring community of fellow walkers and a unique library of audio programming, 99Walks is really a cool find.
The audio tracks range from House Walks, Walk & Talks, Chair Workouts, Inspirational Podcasts- even Walking Meditations and Stroller Walks.
Using my 99Walks referral link or the code LAURAMARSCHEL245 gives you a free trial and a discount if you decide to join.
Geocaching – AKA The World's Largest Treasure Hunt. This app has created a worldwide, get-outside movement. Geocaching is a real life scavenger hunt. The Geocaching app uses your GPS to show where you are on a map. From there, you can look for the location of “caches” which are like tiny hidden treasure boxes hidden by other geocachers.
Sometimes it is as small as a pill box, and inside you will find a paper log where you will write the date and your screen name to show that you found it. Some caches are bigger and people leave behind little treasures. I have done some geocaching with my kids and we have found things like action figures, a compass, and a magnifying glass.
We have found geocaches in our own town and on vacations around the word too- we even found one in Tuscany, Italy! Wherever you are in the world you can probably find some nearby.
Goose Chase – If you like scavenger hunts but don't like the idea of finding caches, another app to check out is Goose Chase.
You can make your own photo scavenger hunts or participate in other people's hunts. We have participated with Girl Scouts in the past. Some hunts can be done without leaving your home, others are town-specific, while still others can be just general outdoor photo hunts.
More fun walking ideas below…
Walking Game Apps
If you want a really fun way to add more steps to your day, consider one of these GPS-based phone games that turn walking into a game.
Think games are just for kids? Think again. Adults are just as active- if not more active- in these gaming communities than kids.
You can participate in these games alone, any day you want, without waiting for some specific event date to pop up or certain hours. However the companies that run the games do have in person events from time to time too. There are also dedicated fan Facebook groups and other ways to befriend other players online if you want to get involved in a community.
These next three games are all from the same company, Niantic, and they all use the same foundation: a gps based map of the real world, using real points of interest (like churches, libraries, works of art, etc) as in-game destinations.
It's fine if you live in the middle of nowhere, but if you are near a town or city there is usually more to do.
For example, if you are out on your walk and you walk by a library, you might find something extra to do in the game while you are near the library.
The three walking based Niantic Games are:
- Pokemon Go – You might have seen this one in the news a few years ago but it is still going strong. Get out and go, and collect pokemon on your walks.
- Harry Potter: Wizards Unite – This is from the same company but it has a Harry Potter theme. As you walk around you see yourself on the map. You encounter characters from the book, cast spells, pick up potion ingredients and you can even battle wizards.
- Ingress – This is the original map-based game, in fact the other two are based off this one.
There are many other GPS based Role Player games, if you are interested in finding one that looks fun to you, head to your App Store and look up phrases like “GPS RPG” or check out this article 11 Awesome GPS RPG Games that Aren't Pokemon Go.
Zombies Run! and the story based, step-tracking, walking app from the same company, The Walk. I do have to mention this fun take on an exercise app. If you enjoy shows about zombies or the apocalypse, this company is for you. Zombies Run is a running app where you need to complete a mission and speed up if you're being chased by zombies. The Walk is also a mission-based story app, but it is less about bursts of exercise and more about getting more steps into your day.
Get Rewarded For Walking
There are so many ways these days to get rewarded for exercise these days. In fact, I have a whole article of Fitbit Rewards.
But you don't need a fitbit in order to be rewarded for your walking efforts. Check out these communities and apps.
99Walks – I talked about this above, but in case you skipped down, it's listed here too. This is an app and supportive community where you set your own monthly walking goal. If you hit your goal for the month, you receive an inspirational metal bracelet in the mail.
Health Wager Step Challenge – Here is another way to be rewarded for hitting your step goal. Healthy Wager sets a goal for you based on the history of your wearable device. Then everyone in the challenge who hits their goal will get a share of the jackpot.
Hobbies and Jobs That Involve Walking
Hobbies that involve walking
Find something that fuels your soul and use that as motivation to move. In addition to ideas above like geocaching, there are tons of cool hobbies you can indulge in to get your body moving. Check out these ideas and pick one that strikes your fancy.
- Birdwatching – From a neighborhood walk to a forest preserve hike, finding new places to birdwatch will keep you moving.
- Frisbee golf – Also known as disc golf, this sport is very affordable and can be played on frisbee golf courses around the world.
- Rock and shell collecting – Finding the best places for hidden gems and shells usually involves taking a nice stroll.
- Kindness Rocks – Nope, painting the rocks doesn't involve walking. But challenge yourself to walk to a good place to leave your work of art.
- Traveling – Some people see vacation as a chance to let loose and indulge but you can also plan them as opportunities to be active. Choose destinations that beg to be explored by foot. There is no better way to get a feel for a new place than to walk the streets and wander around.
Jobs that involve walking
If you are looking for ways to earn money while you walk, consider these full-time jobs or side hustles to add more steps- and dollars- to your day.
- Dog Walking – Whether it is your neighbors or dog owners near your office, it doesn't take a lot of time for any dog lover to fit in a walk, and what a lovely way to get your steps in and spend time with a furry friend at the same time.
- Delivery – Whether it is for the postal service, a food delivery or local courier, delivery jobs can really boost your daily steps.
- Retail Floor – Working in a retail store could have you stuck behind a cash register, but if you work out on the retail floor, stocking shelves and helping customers you will really rack up the steps.
- Local or kids sports Referee – Up and down the court, back on forth up the field you go! Get out and about and get involved with sports and get in those steps.
- School Recess Aid – You don't need to be a teacher to get in your steps while surrounded by the cutest smiles in the land. A lot of schools need responsible adults to oversee lunch and recess. It is fun and very active.
What are some ways you make walking fun? I'm sure I've missed some super awesome ideas.
Let's hear your walking ideas in the comments below!