Top tips to stay motivated

Walkers in Lewisham

If you’ve started walking then you’ve already taken your first steps to a healthier, happier you. But we know that sometimes it can still be a challenge to keep going once you’ve started.

Here are some top tips to help you stay on track and make walking part of your everyday life. Simply click on each to read more. 

Set (realistic) goals

Setting yourself personal goals can really help to keep you focused and keep you walking. Make sure that they are challenging, but realistic – and that you set a time limit so that you can tell if you’ve achieved them. For example…

  • I will attend at least three Walking for Health walks per month for the next four months.
  • I will walk to the shops once a week for the next month. 

Write down your goals and let people know about them – that way you can track how you are doing and will have people encouraging you to achieve them.

And if you do achieve your goals, make sure you reward yourself – and then set some more!

Take on a challenge

Signing up for a walking challenge is another way to give yourself a goal to aim for. For example, you could sign up to do a walking event for Macmillan, or another favourite charity.

Having an event to aim for and people sponsoring you will give you the encouragement you need to get training by walking more day to day.

Don’t do it alone

Walking with a friend or a group is a great way to keep motivated – you can help and encourage each other to keep going. If you set specific dates to go out with other people, then you’re less likely to decide against it at the last minute. 

What’s more, with friends to meet, you’ll get your walking done before you know it. Our walkers often say that they’re so busy chatting to one another that they don’t even notice how much ground they’ve covered!

Find new routes

It’s great to get out and discover new places – with a group or on your own. You can find new routes by joining different Walking for Health walks around you.

Or if you want to branch out on your own, you can find routes to follow in your area using Ramblers Routes. They’re all developed by trained volunteers, so you know that you’re in expert hands.

Use technology and track your progress

It can be really satisfying to see the distance you’ve walked, the steps you’ve taken, or the calories you’ve burnt mounting up. If you have a smartphone, there are lots of great apps around to help you track how far you’ve walked and provide lots of other stats. Or you could use a pedometer or step counter to keep track of how many steps you’re doing.

You may have heard that you should be aiming for 10,000 steps a day with a pedometer. If you did all these in one go you’d have to walk about five miles – or two hours of walking. But every step you take counts towards the total – including wandering about at home and at work – so you should wear the step counter all day, not just when you go for a walk.

If you find it hard to meet your 10,000 steps target, remember every step counts. If you walked an average of 5,000 steps a day when you started but you’re now at 7,000 steps a day, you know you’re making progress.