Have you noticed how many brands of cereal there are? They take up an entire aisle in the supermarket – sometimes more. And how about orange juice? No pulp, some pulp, lots of pulp, beaten to a pulp… All this variety made us wonder why walking has been overlooked. If there were more “brands” of walk to choose from, maybe it would be easier to get out there more often. So we devised 15 new types, guaranteed to keep you motivated, get you fit, and even confer some unexpected benefits. Pick your favourites and get moving.
1. The meet-you-there walk
Instead of driving with your partner to the local shops, leave a bit earlier and meet him there – then catch a ride back home.
First step: If you normally walk a 5km loop in the neighbourhood, draw a circle on a map extending that far out in all directions from your home. This is your sphere of possibility (and it’ll grow larger as you get fitter). The feeling of purpose and independence you’ll gain from doing this type of walk will eventually lead to…
2. The errand walk
Instead of just walking to get in shape, once or twice a week walk to get things done. The ATM, the supermarket, the post office, the beauty salon… This is healthy, stress-free multi-tasking.
First step: You’ll need something to carry your stuff, so borrow a backpack, or take to carrying a couple of those eco-friendly, non-woven, 100% recyclable bags you can get from most supermarket check-outs these days.
3. The figure-it-out walk
There’s something about putting one foot in front of the other that focuses the mind and brings clarity. A problem that might have overwhelmed you originally, or one that appeared to have no clear solution, will often solve itself during a brisk walk.
First step: Don’t dwell on the problem. Instead, think about it to start with, then let it go. Your subconscious will keep working on it, and, before long, a solution will appear. Magic.
4. The reverse walk
We are creatures of habit. Break yours by occasionally walking your normal route in the opposite direction. It not only beats boredom, but it’ll wake you up to the world around you by helping you see things from fresh angles.
First step: Go left instead of right when you take your first step. Make it a point to notice three things you never noticed when walking in your normal direction – and don’t forget how to get home!
5. The going-nowhere fast walk
For those days when the weather is too bleak and your timetable is even bleaker, head to the gym or your spare bedroom for a treadmill walk. No groaning, please. We know how boring this can be. So…
First step: Get a large-scale map of your state or some exotic country. Then, after each workout, highlight the distance you’ve covered across it. The next time someone asks how you got in such great shape, reply: “By walking from here to Cairns!”
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