While walking on the track can be convenient and often easier on the body than walking up and down hills on streets or trails, walking in a circle can present a problem. It's too easy to bail out when you pass your 'heading home' point every time you go around the track!
One advantage of walking a trail or on the street is that one must get to the most distant point of the walk before turning around to head back home. That can keep us walking longer. Some days, it's just too easy to cut out that last 1/4 mile circuit when I'm walking on the track. While I might cut a street walk short, I can't bail on the whole thing just because I get tired or unmotivated.
So, if you find yourself becoming bored with walking at the mall or on a track, head for the streets of your neighborhood or a trail somewhere. You can find some routes in your neighborhood by using mapquest.com or mapmywalk.com. There might be routes in your area that you hadn't even known about. Your local Parks Department can also be a good source for information about walking trails near you.
My husband and I will often pick a 'destination' walk on the weekend. We'll pack up the dog and head to a lake or park a bit farther afield than I normally walk alone. There's even a pretty park where we can walk along a river not that far from our home. When we dedicate an hour to walking, we will get in AT LEAST 45 minutes. That's close enough to 3 miles to suit me! The hills help improve the work out too. Can't go wrong there.
So, walk at the mall or on a track if/when it suits you, but don't be tempted to abbreviate your walk because it's so easy to do. Commit yourself to a minimum number of circuits or X number of minutes for walking. That way, your're more likely to get in a good walk!
Remember my 100% GUARANTEE. Should you decide to stop walking and resume your old habits, I personally guarantee that you'll get back 100% of your former life - your pain, your lifestyle, your attitude.
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