Walking is almost always a good choice in life. It’s a highly effective way to improve physical and mental well-being, requires no special equipment, costs nothing and offers a wide range of benefits. Here, I’ll explore a variety of strategies and tips on how to motivate yourself to walk every day. 

I love walking, especially outside. It feels good to move and it feels great to be outdoors. I love that it clears your mind of clutter and lets you just appreciate the moment you’re in and the beauty you’re walking through.

How to motivate yourself to walk every day

How to Motivate Yourself to Walk Every Day

Here are 17 actionable steps to increase your likelihood of walking every day.

1. Identify Your Walking Motivation

This is something to incorporate into your daily routine, for anything you seriously wish to accomplish in life. Reflect on your motivation. What is the reason behind your desire to walk every day? Why is every single day so significant? What are you looking forward to as a result?

One reason might be that you recognize that creating a daily habit will make it easier to continue in the long-term. Or perhaps you enjoy the challenge of it.

Do you want to see how many days in a row you can walk? I have a friend who did exactly this for more than a year, rain, snow or sunshine. That’s motivation.  But after a while I think her consistency in the past provided even more inspiration for her to get up and get going in the future.

Re-connecting with your reasoning to prioritize walking can help you reset your perspective on difficult days, and re-align with yourself on your most basic values and priorities.

When you truly understand the importance of something, it enables you to make better decisions and allocate your time and resources more effectively.

Connect with this thought process every single morning, followed by re-affirming your plan to walk that day. Doing so will boost your inspiration to walk every day.

2. Set a Daily Walking Goal

Setting a daily walking goal is an excellent way to establish a routine and ensure consistent physical activity. 

Assess your current walking habits to gauge your starting point. Consider how often you walk, the average duration of your walks, and the intensity of your activity.

Start with a realistic daily walking goal that you can comfortably achieve. It’s important to set a goal that challenges you but is also attainable. For instance, you might aim to walk for 30 minutes each day or cover a specific distance, such as 10,000 steps.

Once you establish a routine and feel comfortable with your initial goal, gradually increase the intensity or duration of your walks. This helps prevent plateauing and keeps your body challenged. You can aim to add a few extra minutes or steps each week until you reach your desired level.

These are tricks and tips that I use to motivate myself and I hope that by sharing them with you, you’re able to move more. If you are unable to assess your own physical fitness for any reason, please consult with a professional.

3. Create a Walking Schedule

Set aside a dedicated time slot for walking each day. Treat it as a non-negotiable appointment with yourself for self-care. Make it a top priority in your daily schedule.

Consider the best time of day that works for you, whether it’s in the morning, during lunch breaks, or in the evening. Personally, I need to walk in the morning, or it’s just not going to happen. Other people really enjoy their evening exercise.

Having a designated time for your walks increases the likelihood of following through and makes it easier to integrate them into your routine.

4. Prepare Your Gear in Advance

Lay out your walking shoes, comfortable clothing, and any necessary accessories the night before. Having everything ready and right in front of you will reduce excuses and make it easier to get started.

5. Find a Walking Buddy or Join a Walking Group

Share your walking goal with family, friends, or colleagues who can provide support and encouragement. You might even consider finding a walking buddy or joining a local walking group to stay motivated and make the activity more enjoyable.

6. Use Walking as Transportation

Whenever possible, choose to walk instead of taking a car or public transportation for short distances. Incorporate walking into your daily errands or commuting routine. If you can walk, do so.

7. Make Walking a Social Activity

Plan walks with friends or family members. Catch up on each other’s lives while getting exercise. It adds an element of enjoyment and connection to your walking routine. It gives you something to look forward to and it helps you stay accountable.

8. Track Your Progress

Using a pedometer, fitness tracker, or smartphone walking motivation app can help you monitor your progress. These devices provide insight into your activity levels, such as distance covered, calories burned, and even heart rate. They can also serve as a motivational tool to keep you on track.

How to Create an Effective Walking Schedule

Creating an effective walking schedule involves balancing consistency with flexibility. Start by setting realistic goals that fit into your daily routine, like a 20 or 30-minute walk every morning or an evening stroll after dinner.

Consider your energy levels at different times of the day and schedule your walks accordingly. It’s also beneficial to have contingency plans for bad weather or busy days, such as shorter indoor walks.

Gradually increase the duration and intensity of your walks as you build stamina, but always listen to your body to avoid overexertion.

    How to Choose a Fitness Tracker

    When choosing and using fitness trackers effectively, consider the features that align with your goals.  For basic step counting, a simple pedometer works, but for more detailed insights like heart rate monitoring, calorie tracking, or GPS for distance, a smart fitness tracker is ideal.

    I have used a FitBit in the past and loved it for this purpose. When gifted an Apple Watch however, it has taken my appreciation and workouts to a whole new level!

    Ensure your tracker is comfortable for everyday wear and has a user-friendly interface. Regularly sync your tracker with its app to monitor progress and set new goals. Some trackers also allow you to connect with friends for social motivation and healthy competition.

    woman walking towards a bridge in Central Park with city skyline in background and trees on all sides of her

    9. Vary Your Walking Routes

    To prevent boredom and maintain interest, vary your walking routes and explore different locations. This can keep your walks fresh and exciting, making it easier to stick to your daily goal.

    I like to walk on the treadmill on rainy days and walk outside on better days. I almost always take a different route when outside, and always see new things.

    10. Set Challenges and Rewards

    Acknowledge and celebrate milestones along the way. Whether it’s achieving a certain number of consecutive days or reaching a specific distance, recognizing your progress can boost your motivation and reinforce the habit of daily walking.

    11. Stay Motivated with Music or Podcasts

    Create a playlist of energizing songs or listen to podcasts that inspire and educate you. Engaging your mind can make your walks more entertaining.

    12. Make it Enjoyable

    Finding joy in your walking routine is crucial to maintaining motivation. Make your walks enjoyable by exploring new routes, parks, or scenic trails in your area.

    Listen to music, audiobooks, or podcasts while walking to keep yourself entertained. Alternatively, use this time to relax and clear your mind by practicing mindfulness or deep breathing exercises.

    Sometimes I walk by the dog park, just so I can see as many dogs as possible.

    You can also involve your senses by paying attention to the sights, sounds, and smells around you. By making your walks enjoyable, you’ll look forward to them each day.

    13. Connect it to a Positive Habit

    Combine walking with a positive habit you already have. You brush your teeth every morning right? How about getting dressed for walking as soon as you’re finished with your teeth every day? Get up earlier if you need extra time.

    Combine walking with a positive habit by integrating it into your routine. For example, do you already listen to a podcast on a regular basis? If so, add walking to this habit.

    14. Just Leave the House

    Step outside. Even if that’s all you do, do that. Chances are that once you’re dressed up and ready to go, you’ll end up walking. Because often the hardest part is getting started.

    15. Take a Gratitude Journey

    Photograph everything you see along the way that you are thankful for. You can browse through these photos if you need motivation on future days.

    I love this one because it’s so much fun. Granted, you will not go as far or take longer to do it. But it’s a sweet diversion to the everyday.

    16. Visualize Success

    Visualizing success in walking daily involves imagining the positive outcomes and benefits you’ll experience. Envision yourself feeling energized, accomplished, and healthy after each walk.

    Picture yourself reaching your walking goals, progressing towards better fitness, and maintaining consistency. Visualize the positive impact it has on your overall well-being, helping you stay motivated to walk daily.

    17. Dream Big

    Dreaming big can help you walk more by setting ambitious goals that inspire and motivate you. Visualize grand achievements, such as completing a challenging hike or participating in a walking event.

    Some things to think about:

    • Participating in a long-distance walking event, such as a marathon or charity walk.
    • Completing a multi-day hiking adventure, like trekking a famous trail or exploring a scenic route.
    • Achieving a significant milestone, such as walking a certain number of miles within a specific time frame.
    • Setting a goal to walk in various breathtaking locations around the world, exploring different landscapes and cultures.
    • Joining a walking challenge or competition to test your endurance and reach new personal records.

    By aiming high, you create a sense of excitement and purpose, pushing yourself to walk more consistently and progressively. Dreaming big fuels your determination and propels you towards exceeding your daily walking goals.

    Man walking through the woods toward a bridge with everything covered in beautiful green moss and other plantlife

    How Can I Start My Day with Motivation?

    Starting the day with motivation involves creating a positive and energizing morning routine. At least for me. This can include exercise, meditation, writing in a gratitude journal, or all of the above! The key is to find activities that uplift your mood and set a positive tone for the day.

    What Strategies Can Help Maintain Daily Motivation?

    Setting clear, achievable goals, breaking down larger tasks into smaller, manageable steps, and maintaining a positive mindset.

    It’s also important to minimize distractions, a challenge in itself, create a conducive environment for work or activities, and regularly remind yourself of your ‘why’ – the reasons behind your goals and actions.

    I have not just one, but four, bulletin boards in my office with sticky notes and photos to remind me of my goals and motivations behind them!

    How Can I Overcome Slumps in Motivation Throughout the Day?

    To overcome slumps in motivation, it helps to change your environment or switch tasks for a short period. Walk somewhere you’ve not been before, listen to some new (or old) music, or meet a friend for your exercise.

    Health Benefits of Walking Every Day

    What happens to your body when you start walking every day with good posture?

    Improved Cardiovascular Health

    Walking is a cardiovascular exercise that strengthens your heart and improves blood circulation. It lowers the risk of heart disease, reduces blood pressure, and improves overall cardiovascular fitness.

    Weight Management

    Regular walking, especially brisk walking, can help with weight management. It burns calories, increases metabolism, and contributes to maintaining a healthy body weight. Combined with a balanced diet, it can support weight loss goals.

    Increased Bone Strength and Joint Health

    Walking is a weight-bearing exercise that helps improve bone density, reducing the risk of osteoporosis and fractures. It also supports joint health by lubricating and strengthening the muscles and ligaments surrounding the joints.

    Enhanced Muscle Tone and Strength

    Walking engages various muscles in the body, particularly in the legs, hips, and core. Regular walking helps tone and strengthen these muscles, leading to improved posture, stability, and overall physical strength.

    Boosted Mood and Mental Well-being

    Walking releases endorphins, which are natural mood-enhancing chemicals in the brain. It reduces stress, anxiety, and symptoms of depression. Walking outdoors in nature can provide additional mental health benefits, such as reducing rumination and improving overall well-being.

    Increased Energy Levels

    Walking increases oxygen flow throughout the body, providing a natural energy boost. It can help combat fatigue, increase stamina, and improve overall energy levels throughout the day.

    Improved Cognitive Function

    If for no other reason, do it for this one. Walking has been linked to improved cognitive function and brain health. It enhances memory, focus, and creativity.

    Regular walking can also lower the risk of cognitive decline and age-related neurological disorders, such as dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

    Better Sleep Quality

    Regular physical activity, including walking, promotes better sleep patterns and improves sleep quality. It helps regulate sleep-wake cycles, reduces insomnia symptoms, and promotes a deeper and more restful sleep.

    Reduced Risk of Chronic Diseases

    Walking regularly has been associated with a lower risk of chronic diseases, including type 2 diabetes, certain types of cancer (such as breast and colon cancer), and metabolic syndrome. It also helps manage existing conditions by improving overall health and well-being.

    Longevity

    Studies have shown that regular walking is associated with increased longevity. Engaging in daily walking promotes a healthy lifestyle, lowers the risk of premature death, and contributes to overall longevity.

    Woman walking her dog on bridge in Central Park, New York

    What are the downsides to walking every day?

    Walking every single day can have many benefits for your overall health and well-being. There are a few potential downsides to consider however, when it comes to long-term daily walking.

    • Walking is generally a low-impact activity, but repetitive stress on your joints, tendons, and muscles can lead to overuse injuries over time. It’s important to listen to your body, wear appropriate footwear, and gradually increase the intensity or duration of your walks to minimize the risk of such injuries.
    • Doing the same thing every day can get a bit boring if you don’t mix it up. To combat this, you can explore different routes, listen to podcasts or music, walk with a friend or join walking groups to add variety and make it more engaging.
    • Depending on where you live, weather conditions may occasionally prevent you from going for a walk outdoors. Extremely hot or cold temperatures, heavy rain, or slippery surfaces can make it challenging or unsafe to walk outside. Having alternative indoor exercise options or a backup plan can help ensure you maintain regular physical activity even when outdoor walking isn’t feasible.

    Despite these potential downsides, walking remains an excellent form of exercise for most people. It has many health benefits, including improved cardiovascular health, weight management, stress reduction, and increased mental well-being.

    By being mindful of potential risks and incorporating variety and moderation into your routine, you can continue to enjoy the advantages of walking over the long term.

    People walking along the beach toward Haystack Rock on the Oregon coast

    FAQs on Daily Walking

    How to get motivated to walk in the morning?

    Establish a routine by setting a specific time and place for your morning walk. Start with small, achievable goals and gradually increase distance and pace. Prepare your walking gear the night before, listen to energizing music or podcasts, and remind yourself of the physical and mental benefits of walking.

    How to motivate myself to go for walks?

    Set a clear goal, whether it’s improving fitness or exploring nature. Find a walking buddy or join a walking group for accountability and companionship. Reward yourself after each walk, use motivational quotes or music, and track your progress to stay motivated and enjoy the benefits of walking.

    How to motivate yourself to go for a walk outside?

    Focus on the benefits of fresh air, sunshine, and being in nature. Plan enjoyable routes or explore new areas to make it exciting. Set a goal or challenge, use a fitness tracker, and make it a habit by scheduling specific times. Remember that even a short walk is beneficial.

    How to motivate yourself to walk more?

    Set a daily step goal and track your progress with a fitness tracker or app. Make walking enjoyable by listening to music, podcasts, or audiobooks. Find a walking buddy or join a walking group for motivation and accountability. Incorporate walking into your routine, such as walking during lunch breaks or after dinner.

    How do I get into the habit of walking everyday?

    Start small with a realistic goal, like a 10-minute walk. Schedule a specific time for your walk and make it non-negotiable. Create reminders, use a habit tracker, and reward yourself after each walk. Find enjoyment in the process and focus on the long-term health benefits to establish a daily walking habit.

    Is it OK not to walk everyday?

    It’s generally okay to have rest days from walking to allow your body to recover. However, consistency is key for reaping the benefits. Aim for regular walks, but listen to your body and adjust frequency or intensity based on your fitness level, overall health, and personal preferences.

    how to motivate yourself to walk everyday

    Final Thoughts on Daily Walking

    Walking is a simple yet powerful form of exercise that can have numerous health benefits. It improves cardiovascular fitness, boosts mood, strengthens muscles, and helps maintain a healthy weight.

    Finding the motivation is the first and often hardest part. I hope that with these 17 strategies, you will be inspired and stay motivated to achieve your goals. Happy walking!