Pick some fruit
Do you know of some neglected apple trees in your community or where some roadside raspberries are wilting away? “Give your walk more purpose (and weight) by setting out to gather along the way. Bending and squatting, reaching and carrying ramps (or other fruits and veggies), not only ramps up the physical benefits of your walk, you can count your walk toward your volunteer time by joining a gleaning group,” says Katy Bowman, biomechanist and author of Movement Matters. Not familiar with a gleaning group? It’s a group that picks unwanted fruit and donates it to a local food bank. Fresh fruit and these other items are what food banks need most.
Everyone needs a break from being the walking group leader. Ilyse Baker, AFAA Certified Fitness Instructor and creator of Dancinerate workouts suggests choosing a walking captain for a walk. The captain’s job is to come up with a walking topic. Try topics like new recipes, books, films, restaurants, trails for hiking, vacation destinations, or nutrition tips. “The captain would start the conversation and then invite everyone else to join in with their favorite picks. Not only will this be fun to educate yourself on new things to try, you will also be having fun while forgetting that you are exercising,” says Baker. Want to tone up for spring? Here’s how to walk for weight loss.
Play like a kid
If you have access to a park, head over and play a game like Frisbee golf, suggests Wayne Caparas, fitness pioneer and author of the upcoming book BioLogic Revelation. “Many parks that are laid out with walking trails are being augmented with metal baskets made for the emerging game of Disc Golf. If your park lacks these baskets, simply pick a tree or light post ahead of you to serve as the target. This game is especially appropriate for walking groups due to the ease of learning and playing the game, especially when the group divides into two teams who play the best throw among each team for each successive throw,” says Caparas. Anther kid-tested and walker-approved area is the playground: Use the swings and pump your legs; climb on the monkey bars and do some supported squats; use a park bench for dips or push ups; or do lunges in between the bases of a baseball diamond. Check out these seven ways to make your walking routine healthier.