Ah yes, the walkers slump. It happens with every exercise program. It isn’t necessarily because your feet hurt, but because you are bored. What are you suppose to do? Suzanne M. Levine tells us in her book “Your Feet Don’t Have to Hurt” that if walking has become a pain in more than one way, you can get back on track.
To start with, you should feel really proud of yourself. Just the fact that you have been hoisting your butt off from the couch is quite an accomplishment. When you started walking it was exciting. You set goals and you met them. You felt pleased with yourself. The trouble is that now that you are walking as fast as you can, you can’t think of any new goals. Exercise has become a chore.
The author lays it on the line. The first thing you have to do is remind yourself of why you started walking in the first place. Were you overweight, short of breath or diagnosed with a chronic health problem? Your doctor undoubtedly gave you an ultimatum and suggested that exercise was an absolute.
You felt great at first, but you are probably taking those improved health benefits for granted by now. You may even wonder what would happen if you stopped.
Is it time for a therapist? You probably don’t need to go that far, but at the very least it may be time to play some mind games with yourself. One way to renew your interest is to change your route. It might mean a short drive to a new trail or even joining a walking club to meet some likeminded people? If you are in pretty good health now you might want to take on some more challenging walks. How about walking out in the country? Training for a walk on rugged terrain could make your training more interesting.
When all else fails bribery usually works. Reward yourself with something special at the end of each week of exercise. Buy yourself a new book; go to a movie, treat yourself to a yummy (but healthy) food item, or lunch with a friend.
John Briley (Washington Post. Washington D.C. October 1, 2002) writes about the incredibly creative excuses that people give for bailing out on their walking programs. Now is the time to think of the benefits instead of the drawbacks. Walking is something that you can do while allowing your brain to do something else. You can think, talk, connive or dream without missing a beat. The real plus is that walking actually increases the blood flow to the brain. How great of deal is that? I am sure that you can think of something that will make walking fun again. If walking is boring for you one can only assume that you have no interest in other people, your community or in nature. Now we all know that isn’t true, don’t we?