Exercise comes second nature to me but I know it doesn’t to everyone.

The truth is, that since becoming a mom I have had to get very creative with regards to fitting exercise and movement into my day. The one thing that has remained a constant and is so simple to do, is walking.

Of all the activities available and things we can do to stay healthy, nothing beats good old-fashioned walking.

The great news is that walking can be done anywhere, has a ton of health benefits and is a great way to get from point A to point B. It’s also a very cost-effective mode of transportation.

The next time you are trying to decide whether to walk to not, take these five things into consideration and reap more rewards from your walks.

Make it a mission.

Whatever your usual pace, kick it up a notch. Even 20 to 30 minutes of increased intensity walking has amazing benefits for your health and mind. If you’re using a stroller that has a front wheel lock, use it to reduce wobbliness at faster speeds (but don’t jog or run unless your stroller is certified safe for that use).

Count those steps.

We all know about the Fitbit and its purpose so if you have one use it and if you do not, then use another method for tracking your steps that will keep you engaged and motivated. 10,000 steps can be achieved with approximately 100 minutes of walking at a moderate intensity.

Walk throughout the day.

Do errands on foot, walk your kids to school, take five minute walk breaks at the office as often as you can, and aim to move every 45 to 60 minutes of your day. By making walking the norm and the automatic default for you and your family as far as getting around and enjoying quality time together.  

Do it with company.

Joining a moms walking group or setting up your own community walking group so you have the accountability and support you need to make it happen. Walking with friends allows for conversation which helps the time fly by, it reduces blood pressure, body fat and even helps fight depression.

Try it with mindfulness.

Did you know that walking is in great pain reliever and much easier than a sitting meditation? Mindful walking is done by bringing your awareness to your breathing. With each step make your breathing a focus. Step with the left foot and breath in, step with the right foot and breath out etc. If you have a toddler like I do, they tend to walk pretty slow so being able to do a meditative walk is totally doable and fun!

The long and short is, that walking is a very simple activity that can easily be built into your life and in fact should be a part of your everyday.

It not only has endless health benefits but also keeps us limber, improves circulation, increases our creativity inspiration and gets those happy hormones flowing that we all need and love. I can’t think of a more simple exercise routine that we can do as parents and in turn sets a great example for kids.

On a final note, Europeans walk 3 times more than North Americans. Let’s change that stat and making walking the norm in our world.

Where are you going to walk today?