Blake has worked in mental health since 2002. He educates others on their paths toward resilience and recovery.
Make Walking More Productive and Fun
Walking is one of the best exercises a person can do. It barely takes any equipment, costs nothing, improves your health and well-being and is simple to do. Only a couple common excuses exist for not doing it, which include reasons like making the time to spend on walking, while another might be that it's is boring.
Here is a list of activities to do that will help break down barriers someone may have to be motivated to walk by making the experience more fun and more productive. Not every activity will apply or appeal to everyone, so try out a few until the walking becomes an enjoyable activity. Eventually, walking may become a source of fun, wellness, stability, and productivity in your life.
Equipment for Improving Productivity
- MP3 Player - An mp3 player is essential for any listening and is the main tool for learning while walking. With an abundance of podcasts and audiobooks, there's no excuse to not be learning while walking. Don't forget your headphones.
- Voice Recorder - A recorder can be used for brainstorming and dictating. Make sure to get one that can pause between ideas.
- Cell Phone - With the array of apps available for productivity, a cell phone may be the most productive tool for walking. Voice mail can be used as a crude voice recorder. You may even be able to use apps like Spotify or voice memos to be able to switch between activities.
These activities create more productivity by multitasking exercise with accomplishment. Multitasking the wrong tasks together can lead to less focus and productivity. In the case of walking, however, the physical act of walking requires cerebellar activity.
The cerebellum is responsible for the coordination of processes in the brain. Physical exercise is linked to cerebellar coordination of higher level cerebral cortex cognition. In plain terms, walking can help coordinate more clear and powerful thinking.
List of Walking Activities for Improved Productivity
- Learn Something: Whether you're studying for school, learning a foreign language, or interested in learning how to trade stocks, walking time is a great time to listen to something educational on your phone or mp3 player. If you don't have a recording of what you want to learn, record yourself reading from notes or a book. If you want to memorize something, the rhythm of your steps may correlate to the verbal sounds that you are learning.
- Write Something: Writing a book, blog, poem, article, or even a song can be done while on a walk using a voice recorder. Typing when you get back from your walk will be necessary, but the recording serves as a rough draft. When listening to the recording, ideas for revision can be natural as if in a conversation with an editor.
- Brainstorm: Brainstorming is the process of coming up with a list of ideas for something. Brainstorming while walking can provide the venue for a person to come up with ideas for solving problems, inventing things, starting businesses, or improving processes.
- Do Household Tasks: This may seem like a strange suggestion, but try doing household tasks while out on a walk. Create a grocery list, decide what to buy someone for a special occasion, formulate what to write on a person's greeting card, plan and review your budget, or make phone calls that you've been putting off. If AT&T is going to have you on hold for 20 minutes, you might as well be getting some exercise.
- Run Errands: Living in the country is not an excuse for driving everywhere. Drive as near as you can to be able to walk the rest of the way. This works best when you are just picking up a few things at a store. Bring a backpack if you run out of pocket space. You'll save a little gas if you park in one place and walk to several locations in the area.
Equipment to Enhance the Fun of Walking
- A Camera
- A Scavenger Hunt List
- A Phone
- A Nature/Architecture Pocket Guide
Fun Walking Activities
Sometimes walking can become dull, especially when done alone. Introverted people may be fine talking to themselves in their own heads, but extroverted people may find the solitude of walking alone unsettling or boring. These are six more ideas to add some fun to your walking route.
List of Fun Walking Activities:
- Use a Pedometer: Get your family and friends to get in on the fun by competing for the most steps. Guess how many steps it takes to walk a certain distance. Track your steps and provide rewards for accomplishments.
- Take Pictures: Photograph interesting things you see while on a walk. Photograph things in the moment such as a beautiful sunset or ducks flying into a pond. Take pictures of as many types of animals as you can see while out walking. Then collect photos of tree leaves, flowers, or even clouds.
- Do a Scavenger Hunt: Let someone else come up with a list of things to look for and find those items while out walking. It's best to take a picture of the item to prove that it was found, but you can also carry a bucket and collect natural items. This can be a real fun and competitive game.
- Talk to Friends or Family: Freeing up time to spend on the phone talking with family and friends becomes easier when it is part of your walking routine, just make sure to charge your phone well. You may want to invest in a Bluetooth or wireless headphones to avoid holding the phone the entire time.
- Enjoy Your Environment: If it isn't enough to take in the beautiful scenery, whether urban or rural, buy a pocket guide to help you identify things in nature or in the city scape. You can study types of trees, birds, butterflies, clouds, etc if you are in a rural or suburban area. You can study architecture, historical landmarks, or other properties of the cityscape in urban areas.
- Pray, Meditate, and Work on Gratitude: Because walking can be a solitary activity, it can be the least distracting time of the day to pray, meditate, or work on gratitude. As you focus your mind on spiritual and important positive things, your walking becomes something much more than just exercise. It's "me time."
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
M AIJ on January 11, 2020:
Read More From Skyaboveus
this is an amazing website
E Kyle Morris from Tennessee on December 02, 2019:
Hi Blake, I just found your article. I gained some great ideas here. I have just started walking (working off a few Thanksgiving pounds) and I love the idea of parking one place and walking to several nearby stores. Also, praying along the way is a great idea. Giving thanks for the beauty around me improves my own attitude. Thanks for sharing.
owo on November 13, 2019:
Walking is a great way of copping with an art block. As an artist (majoring in character design to be a game designer) I'm always running out of creative art ideas. While walking, I like to look around for fun things to add to my character designs.
audrey smith on October 15, 2019:
I've raised myself and still doing it. If I'm to tell myself good things, I alone can understand these things, this education is in the ballpark with every step I take. I do intend on praying reading my journals for my support.
megan on September 03, 2018:
on my walk to school everyday I used to download podcasts or shows and movies the night before and then i was walking i would be listening or watching and it works for me.
Cynthia Zirkwitz from Vancouver Island, Canada on June 28, 2018:
Hi there-- this was a very comprehensive set of ideas about what to do on a walk! I am an introvert but I do actually enjoy having brief catch-up conversations with neighbours, or make passing comments on their gardens or the weather-- about the extent of my socialization with my lovely neighbours these days.
The voice app on my phone for recording ideas or to-do lists is a great idea that I have thought about before, but failed to advance. I will try that soon! I am going to share this article-- good work!
Bin on May 22, 2017:
Genius! Love 4 & 5. Being ex city & having very limited walking choices, I now find walking incredibly boring & repetitive so these ideas are a game changer, thanks.
delighted from Tucson, AZ on December 07, 2012:
I just had the opportunity to read this. Great hub! I walk my dog sometimes, he could use more walks, of course, but as you mentioned, I generally anticipate it to be somewhat dull. Now that you mentioned using a pedometer, and taking photos, I now have another purpose for getting out there! Thank you!
Mary Wickison from Brazil on June 05, 2012:
Great suggestions. Multi-tasking is what women have always been good at. I myself have walked down country lanes repeating Portuguese words out loud whilst listening to a foreign language course on my MP3.
When we are busy at home, work or in the car, it is difficult to remember the things we wanted to accomplish during the day.
Using the time during walking is a great idea for daily planning. I like the idea of a voice recorder. That would be very useful. I always had my best ideas whilst out walking and normally forgot to write them down when I returned.
Wonderful idea for a hub.