Now that the weather is getting warmer and the days are longer, getting out for a walk is easier and will reap benefits. If you haven’t been walking regularly, here are a few ideas to help you grab your camera and go out Camera Walking.
#1: Remember the benefits. Walking can add years to your life. Two recent studies added to the growing evidence that walking every day can help boost your mental and physical health. One conducted by Rush University Medical Centre in Chicago, and another at the Alzheimer’s Research UK reported that keeping active throughout our life and into older age brings many health benefits.
#2: Make a plan. Use Sunday to map out your walks for the week then schedule them on your calendar like you would any other nonnegotiable appointment. If it helps, tell your family and friends about your plan to get out walking, so they know you are unavailable during those times.
#3: Go out early. Walk in the morning before your schedule gets too busy. If that isn’t possible then schedule time during your lunch hour or go out immediately when you come home. Make it as easy as possible to stick to your plan to go out for a walk.
#4: Walk the same time every day. Some days we need flexibility in our walking schedules, however, if you can find the same time every day to go out walking it will be easier to make it a habit – one that is much harder to break. I personally prefer walking in the morning and find that if I do it then, it will happen. On the days that I cannot go out in the morning I find it a bit harder to get out the door, but taking my camera with me helps me get out.
#5: Prep the night before. Gather your clothes, shoes, and camera gear the night before you walk. Some find it helpful to put their gear by their bed, so that it is the first thing they see when they wake up. Another strategy is to put your walking shoes and camera by the front door. Eliminating any unnecessary scrambling for clothes and camera gear makes it easier to get out in the morning.
#6: Walk a little faster. Another study found that if you walked faster, walking briskly for 40 minutes five times a week, you gain more health benefits, such as improved glucose tolerance and improved cardiovascular fitness. At Camera Walking we say that in between the stops you make to take photos, walk briskly. Now the research supports our mantra!
#7: Use the five-minute rule. Even if you don’t feel like going out for a walk, tell yourself that you will go out for five minutes. Once you are outside and have walked for five minutes it is much easier to extend it to 15 or 3o minutes or more.
#8: Go easy. It is okay to have a few days where you take it easy. Of course it is great to have a more intensive walk going farther and longer, however there are days when an easy 30-45 minute walk is okay. It gives your body a break and yet you still reap the health benefits of your walk.
#9: Change your route. Walking the same route every day can become boring, so do a little research and find other routes you can walk. Although I personally like to be able to start out from my front door on foot, I occasionally drive to another location to walk a different route. Your local city parks can be a resource, or if you want to go out and explore some of our national parks check out Find Your Park. It is a good resource to discover parks and help plan your walks.
#10: Reward yourself. Certainly stopping for a latte at the end of the walk could be one of your rewards, but you could also think about having time later in the day to process your photos that you took on your walk. I personally find that producing artistic photos that I can share with others is one of the best rewards from my walk.
Now you have ten ideas to help you get out on a walk, so grab your camera and go out Camera Walking to achieve better health, fitness and creativity.