You don’t have to be a walking enthusiast to incorporate walking into your day without much effort. You may be thinking you don’t have the time given your day-to-day schedule but with a little creativity and commitment you can add some steps to your day. A few thoughts...
Take the stairs whenever possible
Walk at lunch or on breaks
Get up a little earlier and walk around the block
Walk your dog a little farther
Walk to run errands if time and distance permit
Do you own a FitBit or similar device? If not, there are loads of free apps you can download on your phone, that will track steps, distance and more. I have a FitBit but if I also have the MyFitnessPal and MapMyWalk apps on my phone which do the job. Having heard about all of the health benefits associated with walking, it is indisputably a great way to stay in shape – physically and mentally.
Sounds simple but where do you start? Perhaps you don’t have anyone to walk with, live close to too many things, know where to walk to, how far, are new to the area, etc? I’ve pulled together some useful links to get you started and also added a short list of my favorites places to walk to inspire you to get up, out and walking. Grab a friend and check it out...
Neighborhood – have you ever just walked around your own neighborhood? Do you have hills nearby, or a new store or restaurant to checkout? My favorite neighborhood walks are:
Downtown Burlingame – coffee, food and retail therapy
Crepevine for Mimosas and light breakfast
Café La Tartine in Redwood City - another great breakfast place which just happens to have big mimosas!
Farmers Markets – most every city has some type of Farmers Market within walking distance.
Shopping – do you live close to a mall, shopping center, or a downtown? All great places to get steps in. If the weather is a bit too cold to be outside, walk a few times inside the mall. Even if you have to drive to go shopping park the farthest away to maximize the impact.
Downtown – take your coffee to go and just walk around the closest downtown. Find a cool breakfast spot, treat yourself to a mimosa and people watch.
Trails – My favorite close by trail is the Crystal Springs Reservoir – drive, park and walk – it’s beautiful and typical to see lots of deer and rabbits.
High school track – With the time change and it getting dark earlier, I like to go to the track and walk with my husband – it’s lit up and he can run while I’m walking but I’m not alone.
Treadmill – when I’m pressed for time or too lazy to venture outside, the treadmill is my go to fitness routine. I love being able to go between a walk and run easily and the ability to adjust my goals on the go and listen to my favorite music. It sets a tone for the rest of my day and it is an amenity in my building so definitely no excuse here.
Every City has their share of parks. The Bay Area in particular has an abundance of cool parks and trails (many hidden) right in your backyard! So many that it is a blog topic all on its own, but a favorite is Huddart Park in Woodside which has large open areas for picnics and lots of great hiking trails.
Sierra Club: If you like the social aspect of walking, this may be a great option for you. Not only will you get your steps in, but do so while meeting new people. A great option especially if you live in a new city. The Sierra Club was founded in 1924 and has a large Bay Area Chapter. On their website you can find a calendar of events, policies and information, hike ratings and so much more.
Meet up: If you aren’t familiar with the popular website Meetup, you should check it out. They bring people together by organizing events that cover all areas of interest. They have a hiking club that consists of over 13,000 hikers and the website lists all the various hiking events planned.
Hiking is a great way to enjoy the outdoors and all the beauty we tend to overlook amidst the day-to-day hustle. This can also be overwhelming though if you don’t know where to go. I wouldn’t recommend hiking alone, which is why these resources are so great!
Alameda County: http://www.alamedactc.org/walk
San Mateo County: http://parks.smcgov.org
Sierra Club: https://sierraclub.org/san-francisco-bay/hiking
Meet Up: https://www.meetup.com/bayareahikers/
My passion for walking kicked in after participating in the San Diego Susan G. Komen 60 mile 3 day walk for the fight against breast cancer. Not suggesting you need to jump start by walking 60 miles, however being part of such an awesome organized event was great motivation and felt empowering. If you commit to an organized walk they also have training sessions leading up to the date of the event so it’s a great way to stay motivated and connect with other people sharing the same experience and end goal.
Clearly the resources available on this topic are endless!
Start small… just make the decision to incorporate some additional steps into your day.