In today’s world, unfortunately, we spend most of our time sitting down.
Ok, now I know that is a generalization and that there are a select few of us who have managed to avoid this sedentary lifestyle, and I salute you!
But for those of us who have managed to get ‘stuck’ sitting for most of our day, this one’s for you. If you haven’t grabbed it yet, download your day hiking gear checklist to get started.
How To Get In The Habit Of Walking Everyday
Sitting around all the time is not good for our bodies and can lead to a host of health problems. This is probably one of the most motivating reasons to make an effort to move around and go for a walk each day.
Also, I can’t think of a better way to prepare for walking the Appalachian Trail, other than, walking. A lot.
Of course, that’s easier said than done. Most of us sit for our work, we eat sitting down, and to be honest all we want to do when we come home from work is plop down for a Netflix marathon until bedtime.
Getting and staying in the habit of going for a walk each day can be a bit of a challenge. But that’s exactly what we need to do. We need to get in the habit of going for that walk just like we’re in the habit of brushing our teeth twice a day or taking out the trash on Tuesdays. Once it’s a well ingrained habit, it won’t be as much of a challenge to get out the door and make sure you go for a walk each day. I promise!
First, you will need some day hiking gear. Don’t worry I don’t mean anything too crazy or technical, but you will need some basics to keep your body relatively dry and warm. Then, if you want to get fancy you can add on some extra, optional gear for comfort and motivation.
Basic Day Hiking Gear
- Good quality shoes (walking, running, or hiking shoes will do)
- Synthetic ‘workout clothes’ that fit comfortably
- A jacket
- A rain coat
- Small pack for water, snacks, and that jacket and rain coat
- Small first aid kit
- Trekking poles (optional, but so worth it! You’re knees will thank you)
- A Fitbit, or other fitness tracker (optional, but can be a big motivator for some people)
The next step is to find a walking route you enjoy.
Or a few. This helps to make it as easy as possible.
You don’t want the process of trying to choose where to go walking to become a hassle, or worse, make it so you shrug it off and decide not go walking at all because you don’t know where to go.
If you can, find a route in your own neighborhood so you can leave right from your front door. Just get dressed, lace up your shoes and start walking. Taking the same route every day helps form that habit. It’s also encouraging to notice that you can walk the same loop faster or with less effort over time. It proves that you’re improving your fitness and are getting stronger.
Even you think it might get boring, it’s amazing to seethe same area day after day, week after week and witness the changes nature brings from season to season.Listening to your favorite music, podcasts or audio books are also helpful. It will make the time go by faster and give you something else to look forward to. You can even use your favorite media as a way to bribe yourself to go for your daily walk. Let’s say you have a couple of podcasts you enjoy, only let yourself listen to them while you’re walking. It’s a great incentive to get out there even on days when you’re not feeling it.
Consider walking with other people.
Find a walking group in your area, or talk a friend or neighbor into becoming your walking buddy. It’s more fun to walk when you have someone to talk to, it also has some built in accountability. It’s also much harder to skip a walking workout when you know that other people are waiting for you and relying on you to join them. Getting in the habit of walking everyday can be a great way to help prepare your body for a long distance hike, like hiking the Appalachian Trail.
Be sure to start your walking exercise routine several months before your trip. Increase the difficulty of your walks every week or two by either walking faster, and/or adding a backpack with more and more weight in it over time.
Check out these other motivational hiking and backpacking posts:
- How To Actually Go Backpacking
- 10 Hiking Quotes To Keep You Going
- Self-Care Tips For Hikers
- 14 Reasons To Hike The Appalachian Trail
Share your favorite hacks to trick yourself into going out for a walk everyday in the comments below!