How can I make walk more interesting?
If you walk daily or regularly and want to make it more interesting, you could listen to a podcast, time yourself on familiar routes to try to get faster or incorporate a variety of terrains. Also, take binoculars to search for new sights, photograph wildlife, or tune into the sights and sounds around you.
How to get the most out of your walk
We can all get a little bored of walking from time to time. Perhaps you're fed up with seeing the same places or feel like the activity isn't giving you enough stimulation. If this is the case, I've got loads of tips to help make your daily walk more interesting so you are able to keep up this healthy, beneficial activity!
1. Choose a podcast to keep you company
Whilst it is nice to have the company of others whilst on a walk, this isn't always possible. So, an alternative is to listen to a podcast. You can explore topics you enjoy, or pick something at random. Below are a few popular podcasts:
- Desert Island Discs – celebrity guests and famous faces talk about their lives and share musical tracks that have shaped them.
- Deliciously Ella – guests with a health or nutrition background talk through a series of health and wellness topics, from stress to exercise.
- How To Fail – interviewees (usually a celebrity or famous face) talk about things that have gone 'wrong' in their lives, plus how they overcame these setbacks.
There are also a number of walking and travel-focused podcasts that may help get you in the mood for a walk!
- Walks Around Britain – the title gives this one away – it's a podcast about walks around Britain...
- Mountain – listen to stories of adventure in wild places. There haven't been any recent episodes of this podcast, but you can have fun listening to the stories in previous editions.
- Ramblings – Clare Balding interviews people as they walk through the British countryside.
2. Time yourself on familiar routes
There are much greater fitness gains to be made from walking at a quicker pace, or by incorporating more hills into your routes. This works on stamina, for example, and also turns the activity into a cardio workout, which is good for the heart.
So, see if you can get quicker on your walks and time yourself on a familiar route to see the progress you can make each time you head out.
3. Cover a variety of terrain
Keep walks interesting by covering a variety of terrains, including fields, woodland, country parks, canal paths, cycle routes, and beaches. If possible, travel a little further afield to seek out new routes, or simply go out into an area nearby and walk in a direction you haven't tried before.
4. Take binoculars to seek out new sights
Use binoculars on your walk to get a closer look at birds, wildlife and plants that you may not be able to fully appreciate otherwise.
5. Photograph wildlife and plants
We are all used to taking selfies when out and about but why not turn your camera the other way around and focus on the things you can photograph in the environment around you? In Spring and Summer, flowers will be in full bloom so get up close and take snaps of their intricate features. In Autumn and Winter, the scenes will look very different but no less impressive. Hone in on brown leave, bare trees and frosty footprints, for example.
Spending a little extra time to take in the things you see on your walk offers much more to discover! Take an identification book with you and you can also learn the names of birds, trees and plants as you go by.
6. Tune in to what you see and hear
When out and about, focus on the sights, sounds and feelings experienced in the outdoors, rather than turning inwards to your own thoughts. You could even take a little notepad with you and write down anything notable as you go. If you do this throughout the year, you will soon have a clear record of all the small changes going on in your surrounding environment.
7. Use the time to learn something new
Walking is a good way to stay fit and healthy, but it can also be an opportunity to learn something new. This could be as simple as looking up the name of a plant or tree that you come across on your walk or listening to a fact-filled podcast such as No Such Thing As A Fish. You could even take things one step further by signing up to learn a language. There are lots of podcasts that can support this or more official courses. Once you've picked your course, simply listen to the lesson as you walk!
8. Try walking meditation
Walking is in itself a form of meditation, helped by the steady repetitiveness of your footsteps and the calming sounds of nature. If you need more help with meditation, though, then a podcast or app like Headspace would be worth taking along too.
9. Lead a walking group
Instead of walking by yourself, check out opportunities to volunteer in your local community. You could help to lead a walking group that already exists in your area or set up your own one with friends and family.
10. Shop local
Shopping at local stores, including gift shopping as well as the weekly essentials, is a great excuse to get out walking without having to venture too far. Stopping off to talk to shop owners (and perhaps even bumping into friends on the way) all help to make walking more interesting, too.