6 things you hate about walking (and how to overcome them)

Walking is vital. We cannot stress this enough. One study says it can halve your chance of dying early. Another suggests it can add seven years to your life.

We’d all like to do it more. So what’s actually stopping us? How can putting one foot in front of the other be so difficult?

Sometimes the little things that can hold you back from that first step. But no matter what your reservation, there’s a way around everything.

“It’s boring”

For many, the best starting point is to join a dedicated group. The Heart Foundation runs regular walking sessions all around Australia, transforming a basic health obligation into a lively, easygoing hour or two of fun.

Ad. Article continues below.

Another great technique is to work it into your social calendar. Next time you catch up with a friend, talk over a morning walk. If you enjoy coffee and cake, make the cafe your destination rather than your meeting place; a reward at the end.

If you prefer your own company, consider audiobooks as a source of entertainment. If you’re on the fence about reading this way, Audible is a great place to test the waters for free.

“I’m just not an outdoors person”

On a step-by-step basis, a walk around the house – or some brisk pacing while on the phone – is just as useful as a dedicated stroll through the park.

The aforementioned Heart Foundation groups also include shopping centre walks and other indoor sessions; a fantastic option for those who would rather not push themselves.

Ad. Article continues below.

“It chafes” 

We’ve got you covered! See Starts at 60’s guide on the best ways to prevent chafing.

“I don’t want to injure myself”

If uneven paths are a concern, a treadmill could be your best option. If you don’t have access to a gym, it could be a worthy investment for your living room – especially if you aim to be on the move for the duration of a favourite TV show.

“I’m just not motivated”

Ad. Article continues below.

Rule #1: know the stakes. For something relatively low-effort, walking can make an enormous improvement to life expectancy. After reading up on the benefits of walking, you may find yourself a lot more willing to take those next few steps.

If you walk with your phone, consider an application such as Breeze, which will track your steps and offer positive reinforcement for improving on your average. A few encouraging words – even from a piece of software – can make a surprising amount of difference.

“10,000 steps is too much”

Even a slight increase can be enough to improve your health substantially. Aim for a consistent 3,000 or 5,000 before setting the bar higher.

A pedometer or fitness tracker (such as Fitbit or Up) will help you appreciate just how much those little detours and extra touches can add up. When you see the next milestone in reach, you may be surprised to find yourself pacing around a little extra next time you’re on the phone, or parking your car that little bit further away.

Do you feel like you walk enough each day? If not: what’s holding you back? How could you be compelled to take that extra step?