Walking Beginners Walking for Weight Management Guide Walking for Weight Management Guide Prepare to Walk What to Wear Find the Right Shoes Determine Your Walking Speed How Long to Walk Make a Schedule Perfect Your Technique Eat Well Consider Intervals Avoid Common Mistakes Work Through Plateaus Track Your Walks Stay Motivated 10 Ways to Motivate Yourself to Walk By Wendy Bumgardner Wendy Bumgardner Facebook Twitter Wendy Bumgardner is a freelance writer covering walking and other health and fitness topics and has competed in more than 1,000 walking events. Learn about our editorial process Updated on January 04, 2021 Reviewed Verywell Fit articles are reviewed by nutrition and exercise professionals. Reviewers confirm the content is thorough and accurate, reflecting the latest evidence-based research. Content is reviewed before publication and upon substantial updates. Learn more. by Michele Stanten, ACE-GFI Reviewed by Michele Stanten, ACE-GFI Michele Stanten is a walking coach, certified group fitness instructor, and running coach. She is the author of Walk Off Weight and The Walking Solution. Learn about our Review Board Print You want to walk, but how do you get yourself out the door or onto the treadmill? That's the toughest challenge many people face. But you can learn ways to motivate yourself and get exercise consistently. You'll reduce your health risks and you may even find yourself crossing the finish line of a 10K, half-marathon, or marathon walk. 1 Register for a Challenging Walking Event Verywell / Ryan Kelly Give yourself a goal and a deadline. Register for a walking event that will be a real challenge for you. If you are a beginner, select a 5K or 10K charity event. If you are ready for a more serious challenge, register for a half-marathon, marathon, or multi-day walking festival. You'll be naturally motivated to train consistently to be ready for the event. You can look forward to the triumph of crossing the finish line as a reward for getting regular exercise. Find a walker-friendly event that will give you the right motivation, such as one connected to a charity that you want to support. 2 Set Up a Walking Plan Design and follow a walking plan to start seeing results from your fitness efforts. Having a structure and varying your workouts will keep you on track. When you begin to feel the difference in your stamina, muscles, and vigor, you'll want to keep going. Try incorporating interval walks, hills, and maybe even some jogging into your weekly routine. 3 Wear a Fitness Tracker Wearing a pedometer or fitness tracker can help motivate you to increase your activity. You can wear a device or start paying attention to the steps recorded by the pedometer app of your smartphone. Set your step goal at 6,000 to 10,000 per day, and find ways to add steps to your day. 4 Make a Walking Buddy Walking with friends can make a difference and get you out on a walk despite the weather or other excuses to skip your workout. You can keep each other moving with conversation, jokes, and coffee afterward. If you don't already have a walking buddy, there are ways to find them. These include locating groups, walking clubs, and local fitness clubs. 5 Keep a Walking Journal Track your walking minutes, steps, or mileage in a journal, whether on paper, an app or your computer. Total your progress each week. Set a goal and you will find yourself out walking just to make those numbers add up. 6 Join a Walking Club Joining a walking club can keep you active. The largest organization worldwide is the IVV, with walking clubs in the U.S., Canada, Britain, and many European countries. American Volkssporting Association, or AVA, has a nationwide, grassroots network of hundreds of clubs. You can also find walking clubs organized by health organizations, fitness clubs, schools, churches, and local parks and recreation organizations. 7 Buy New Shoes and Walking Clothes When you have new walking shoes or new walking clothes, you may be motivated to get out and try them out. Hate to walk in the cold? Buy the right layered clothing and you'll have to take it for a walk. Hate the rain? A waterproof jacket or umbrella can give you an urge to dodge the puddles. Does hot weather make you wilt? Wear sweat-wicking clothes, a great hat, and a neck cooler for staying cool on hot walks. Naturally, new shoes are always an excellent motivator for going on a walk. 8 Try Fitness Trackers and Apps Like fitness trackers, any electronic gear can get you moving because you want to put it to use. Heart monitors, speed monitors, and activity monitors can all make walking a little more fun and give you a reason to get out the door. You can also turn your phone into a walking gadget with a walking app. 9 Do a Virtual Walk If you have a goal, you are more likely to put in the steps. There are apps such as Walk the Distance or WorldWalking that track your walking as you complete segments of a chosen trail. These offer social elements that provide a supportive community to keep you focused on your goal. Complete a virtual walk on the Appalachian Trail or Camino de Santiago. 10 Choose the Right Time What is the best time to walk? To stay motivated, analyze your habits and choose the time that works best for you. Many people find that if they commit to early morning walks, fewer distractions pop up in the afternoon or evening. But if you hate mornings and feel most energetic later in the day, then that should be your walking time. 6 Sources Verywell Fit uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy. Warburton DE, Nicol CW, Bredin SS. Health benefits of physical activity: the evidence. CMAJ. 2006;174(6):801–809. doi:10.1503/cmaj.051351 Warren KR, Ball MP, Feldman S, Liu F, McMahon RP, Kelly DL. Exercise program adherence using a 5-kilometer (5K) event as an achievable goal in people with schizophrenia. Biol Res Nurs. 2011;13(4):383–390. doi:10.1177/1099800410393272 Sullivan AN, Lachman ME. Behavior Change with Fitness Technology in Sedentary Adults: A Review of the Evidence for Increasing Physical Activity. Front Public Health. 2017;4:289. doi:10.3389/fpubh.2016.00289 Schulz AJ, Israel BA, Mentz GB, et al. Effectiveness of a walking group intervention to promote physical activity and cardiovascular health in predominantly non-Hispanic black and Hispanic urban neighborhoods: findings from the walk your heart to health intervention. Health Educ Behav. 2015;42(3):380–392. doi:10.1177/1090198114560015 De sousa J, Cheatham C, Wittbrodt M. The effects of a moisture-wicking fabric shirt on the physiological and perceptual responses during acute exercise in the heat. Appl Ergon. 2014;45(6):1447-53. Gardner B, Lally P, Wardle J. Making health habitual: the psychology of 'habit-formation' and general practice. Br J Gen Pract. 2012;62(605):664–666. doi:10.3399/bjgp12X659466 By Wendy Bumgardner Wendy Bumgardner is a freelance writer covering walking and other health and fitness topics and has competed in more than 1,000 walking events. See Our Editorial Process Meet Our Review Board Share Feedback Was this page helpful? Thanks for your feedback! What is your feedback? Other Helpful Report an Error Submit Advertiser Disclosure × The offers that appear in this table are from companies that partner with and compensate Verywell Fit for displaying their offer. These partnerships do not impact our editorial choices or otherwise influence our editorial content.