Staying Motivated

Keeping Motivated When Walking

The key to starting and staying with an exercise and healthy eating programme is motivation. Motivation is the stimulant which gets you going and keeps you going through the ups and downs that are inevitable when you set out to make changes in your life. And the greatest motivator is knowing that what you are doing works and works quickly.

You have your mind set on success, and that’s crucial, because you will need to believe in your own ability to make the effort necessary to succeed. But having a ‘game plan’, tailored to your own lifestyle, is the best route to success. Here are a few ways to help you achieve your target:

1.   Seek Support. You may find it easier to keep up a regular routine if you involve a friend, a member of the family or a work colleague. If you can’t find anyone in your immediate circle, put up a notice on the bulletin board at work or in your local fitness centre. Or you could consider starting your own walking club, perhaps during a lunch hour or after work.

2.   Schedule Your Workouts. The best way to build a regular habit is to walk at the same time each day. But first it’s a good idea to experiment with different times until you find your personal ‘best time’. It may be morning, lunchtime, or early evening. Whatever time it is, make a mental note (or a written one in you diary) to schedule your walk each day at the same time.

3.   Invest in Success. Gear yourself up for success by treating yourself to a new pair of walking shoes. A good walkable shoe is the main piece of equipment you need and having the right kit will increase your confidence and put some zip into your step.

4.   Keep Track. A good motivational aid is to start a walking log. Nothing fancy – just a few simple headings such as day, pace, time planned (minutes), time walked (minutes), route taken, comments and feelings (about surroundings, weather, etc). You may want to add a few more headings such as speed and distance, and a column for weekly totals. By keeping track and recording your walks, you will have a kind of ongoing feedback with which you can chart your progress and look back upon. Download our Walking Log.