Fitness Articles

14 Ways to Add Variety to Your Walks

Bored with Walking? Try These Ideas!

3KSHARES
Experiment with different stride lengths during your workouts. Try shorter and faster strides or slower and medium-length strides. You can try entire workouts at a new stride length, or change it up every minute or two. Different stride lengths and speeds will challenge your muscles in different ways so you can keep seeing progress.

Take Your Dog
Fido will ensure you are walking at a good pace. For an average person (and dog), you're probably in your target speed range when your dog is "trotting" too. Be careful--if Fido tends to pull a lot, it might be dangerous for him. Get more information about walking with your dog.

Change Direction
People move forward, and walking is no exception. As long as you're careful and don't have any balance issues, walking laterally or even backwards can be a good way to add a little variety to your program. Sideways walking is probably easiest and poses the fewest risks. Keep your body facing in one direction and focus on the movement of your outer and inner thighs as you step to the side. Don't forget to go both ways (lead with the right leg, but don't forget to turn the other way to lead with the left leg, too). On the treadmill, try a very slow speed with 0% incline. You can hold on to the railings for support.
Vary Your Program
There are countless of simple ways you can change up your walking routine, from experimenting with different workout durations (short, medium or long), different workout intensities (low, moderate and high), and even different days of the week. The more you change things up, the better your results will be, even as you continue to get more fit.
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About The Author

Nicole Nichols Nicole Nichols
A certified personal trainer and fitness instructor with a bachelor's degree in health education, Nicole loves living a healthy and fit lifestyle and helping others do the same. Nicole was formerly SparkPeople's fitness expert and editor-in-chief, known on the site as "Coach Nicole." Make sure to explore more of her articles and blog posts.

Member Comments

  • JSLYNCH
    when I walk, I frequently add a double back flip with a full twist. and frequently back flip, back flip, back flip, front flip, front flip, front flip ... and some times I go out to the freeway at night and try to run across all lanes ... that adds some excitement ... - 8/8/2015 2:15:02 AM
  • when my kids and I go walking, we take a basket ball, soft ball, tennis ball something to that nature and play catch or we just kick a rock or bottle or something so its more like play than exercising. - 3/21/2015 2:16:26 PM
  • I enjoy looking at nature, watching for birds, changes in the seasons, flowers, plants and landscape. Living in the country means that we might spot a deer, moose or even bear when we are walking.
    Chatting with a friend or my spouse is also enjoyable on a walk.
    Lately, avoiding falling on ice keeps me busy, too. - 2/27/2015 11:44:05 AM
  • I actually have started walking backwards some when walking with my 10 year old son. When he gets bored he will start walking backwards and I did it too just for fun. I'm glad it's good for you (I do go a lot slower though). - 2/27/2015 8:42:06 AM
  • I've started walking indoors in office building. We have one floor that we use as a track and walk around for 10-20 min in the morning and then the afternoon walk consists of taking the stairs for 7 or 8 flights. - 2/12/2015 10:54:43 AM
  • also add in geocaching! - 12/22/2014 7:38:12 PM
  • Sometimes I go on a regular walk, but do the trail in the opposite dirrection - 12/22/2014 7:37:40 PM
  • Nordic Pole walking!!! - 9/17/2014 10:54:04 PM
  • I'm really enjoying walking now (since it's virtually fall in the upper midwest and nice and cool) and what I do is vary my path (sometimes I go through the park, sometimes I loop around a different street) and my speed. I've even added jog intervals. - 9/17/2014 12:48:28 PM
  • very very helpful thanks for your advices - 3/20/2014 10:56:03 AM
  • I like mixing my walking up when my son goes with me so he's not bored. We walk backwards, skip, hop, and lunges. Never thought to walk sideways we will have to throw that into the mix. - 10/24/2013 11:47:22 PM
  • I recently started downloading audiobooks to my phone and listening to those while I go on my daily walk at lunch. Now, instead of finding excuses not to go out and walk, I can't wait to go so I can find out what happens next in whatever novel I'm listening to. - 10/24/2013 7:23:44 PM
  • I live in the country and love to go walking in the afternoons, but recently my fiance was in a bad car accident. He is recuperating and I don't really have time to go walking much right now. So if you guys could pray for a fast recovery for my fiance that would be great! - 10/24/2013 3:55:37 PM
  • There are always other people on the trails where I walk, and saying hello to them is what I look forward to.

    Pumping my arms helps to keep my hands from swelling, in addition to helping with the stride and increasing intensity.

    I've heard some negative advice about ankle weights while walking. My knees are telling me that the walking shoes are plenty heavy by themselves.

    - 10/24/2013 11:47:45 AM
  • NATURELADY101
    Some good ideas here...I like walking backwards, too. And I tried walking sideways...couldn
    't go too far but it was a challenge. As an added bonus, any time a person changes a routine it's good for keeping the brain 'tuned' and younger, too! What a deal, at LEAST two specific benefits for the price of a walk! :) - 10/24/2013 8:42:16 AM

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