Deciding to go walking for your health can be a great choice and a huge step forward in reaching a healthier lifestyle, but just as important as choosing to walk is deciding where you’re going to do the walking. Depending on where you live and what the climate is around your home, you choices for where (and when) to walk can change drastically. Let’s take a look at some popular choices for fitness related walking.
1. Around the block.
This is a good first step, especially if you’re not really into fitness and exercise. Just going around the block once or twice is a fantastic option that will get you used to getting out and walking (usually) without putting too much strain on your body. If you live in a rural neighborhood you can use an online map or GPS to plan a good looping route that will take you around your neighborhood and back to your front door, giving you a good base for your walks. As you get more comfortable with walking, try to expand your loop and maybe even include roads with hills, though always try to walk safely on the sidewalk whenever possible.
2. Find a trail.
This is another great option if you’re looking to get a little more bang for your walking buck. Walking trails, especially popular ones, are likely well maintained, usually have benches to rest at along the way, and are often through scenic areas in cities and neighborhoods. If you want something a little more challenging, try a hiking trail. You’ll be able to enjoy your walk in the peace of nature and still get great exercise. In either case, try to use trail mile markers or plan your route ahead of time to track progress and plan for time.
3. Visit a track or sports field.
This one is a great option if you have a local track or sports field that is available to the public. A lot of schools and local track and field venues will leave their spaces open to the public when not in use and having access to the flat, even ground of a running track can make it a great option for easy walking if you don’t have a good place to walk near your home.
4. Go to the beach!
This is for when you’re looking to push yourself a little bit when you go walking and isn’t really a good idea if you’re just getting started out. The uneven ground and the way sand moves when you walk on it gives you a little bit more of a workout than your average walk on pavement. The beach is a great way to challenge yourself if you feel like your fitness has plateaued and you can also relax on the sand or go for a swim before or after while you’re there!
Always make sure to do your research online before heading out to walk to make sure that areas are publicly accessible and will make a good looping option for your walks.