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If you’re taking walks for the sake of health and fitness, that’s a great thing to be doing. But walking the same streets time and again can get tedious, so it’s best to have an interest, or some variation, to keep you going. Here are eight ways you can make your walks more fun, and get fit without even noticing.

1. Plan interesting routes

Seek out new routes that will lead you to streets and outlooks you’ve never come across before. If you know the area inside out, take the car or bus to a point further out and explore that instead. An urban suburb can be as interesting as a rural beauty spot, when you stop to look at the details. Perhaps do a little background research into the area beforehand, to get even more out of the trip.

2. Collect items of interest

Combine your walks with a hobby. If you enjoy art or craftwork, for instance, you could collect natural items like feathers, shells or pinecones, to support your work. If you’re a nature-lover, count the different species of trees or birds along your way. Maybe you’re interested in architecture, in which case, use your phone camera to capture the designs that attract your notice.

3. Take a dog

Many walkers feel happiest when they have a dog to lead. If you share this feeling but don’t own a dog, why not offer to take a neighbor’s instead? You’ll be doing them a favor, which they will probably appreciate on a regular basis. Dog-walking tends to be a sociable business, with owners stopping to chat as their dogs play.

4. Take equipment for fun activities

Children aren’t the only ones who like fun and games. Adults enjoy them, too, so plan some recreation for your walks. Take a ball, kite or small, battery-operated toy, perhaps, and head to an open, public space where you can use them. Next time, you might take a skateboard or a boomerang, or bread for the birds in the park.

5. Meet a friend

A social engagement can provide an excellent incentive to get walking. Perhaps you have a friend who’s also taking daily walks and would welcome a regular meeting point, whether it’s a coffee shop or a park bench. Otherwise, you could call on different acquaintances, selecting those who live a good walk away.

6. Take binoculars

With a pair of binoculars around your neck, you can enjoy extended views during your walks. It can be fascinating to zoom into a far-off scene or follow the movements of a rare bird. Binoculars provide an incentive for climbing hills, with the view from the top in mind, and hill-walking is especially good for your heart, lungs and limbs.

7. Listen to music and more

If you don’t have a personal music system, now is the time to get one. With your favorite tunes in your ears, and a steady rhythm to swing along to, your walks will take on an attractive, new dimension. Remember you can also listen to stories, comedy, language lessons, or whatever else may appeal, as you stride along.

8. Combine your walks with tasks

When you’re running an errand, you have an incentive to get you up and moving. Whether your goal is the grocery store, the library or a friend’s house, your sense of purpose will drive you briskly along. When there’s nothing you need to go out for, perhaps offer to run errands for friends or relatives. If you know anyone with mobility problems, they will be particularly grateful.

Pick a different enhancement for each walk, then think up some more, or allocate one to each weekday. You’ll enjoy your outings so much more, you’ll probably end up doing even more exercise than you were aiming for – and that’s the best way to get fit.

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