Walking is such a good, easy way to exercise, but if we don’t make it a habit we sometimes start skipping days and then we start skipping more days until we are only walking when the weather is perfect or the time is right. As you know, we must make our exercise a habit so that we don’t have to think about the weather or the time of year or whether we really have time.

I will tell you about how I have made my daily walks a habit just to give you an idea, but, of course, each of you will have to make a habit that fits with your life.

I have dogs to walk. That is a very good motivator as they need exercise as much as I do. As their ‘mother,’ I must keep my ‘children’ healthy. As soon as I get up, I put my walking clothes on. Some days, I may have to set the alarm for 5:00 A.M., if I have someplace to go that day. I have just learned that if I don’t do it first thing, I will tend to skip it. So, walking first thing in the morning has become a habit seven days a week. Of course, if it is raining hard I can’t risk getting those poodle haircuts ruined, so we don’t go. 🙂

However, that doesn’t really happen too often. The only other variable is the length of our walk. Some days we only have time to do a 20-minute walk, whereas other days we can do thiry or forty minutes.

Whenever my granddaughter stays with me, she knows that we have to walk the dogs. When she was very small, I would push her in the stroller and hold 3 leashes. It got to be a little complicated, but we would do it. As she got older, I would hold her hand and one dog leash with my left hand and hold on to the other two dogs with my right hand. This also was complicated, but we would do it. Now that she’s five, she can walk beside us and will keep up, especially, if I promise her a stop at the neighborhood park or a special cartoon while we eat breakfast.

Because I now have only two dogs to walk, it has gotten much less complicated and I have pulled out my i-pod. I have found if I download a motivational talk or a workshop, I will walk longer because I am so interested in listening to the talks.

I hope you can find ways to make your daily exercise an enjoyable habit. Leave me a comment as to how you have done that in your life.

© 2010 Melinda Coker

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