Suddenly everybody is walking.
Even people who used to say “walking is boring” are walking. Every day. When the rest of the world is closed, it is the main way to get out. I have seen many people walking in my neighborhood that I have never seen out before.
Typically, many people report that walking is boring. It does not have to be. I am firmly anti-boring when it comes to walking. Boring walking is a choice.
Have you ever gone for a walk with a kid? They will kick stones, move in random patterns, and find fascination with stuff on the ground. You can do this again in the Walking Games.
What are The Walking Games? Simple, engaging, enjoyable ways to make walking more challenging for your body and interesting for your mind.
“The brain appears to be designed to solve problems related to surviving in an unstable environment, and to do so in nearly constant motion,” says John Medina in Brain Rules. He adds that “we can make a species-wide athletic comeback…all we have to do is move.” Our evolutionary ancestors were used to walking up to 12 miles per day. Integrating exercise into those 8 hours of work or school will barely even return us to normal.
Check out the videos to see the “Walking Games” in action. What follows are three videos showing you the options and ideas to make walking fun, interesting, and engaging. Each one is just a few minutes long. Here is a link to the entire playlist of all 3 videos. And if you’d prefer to read descriptions of some of the activities, they are below the videos. Enjoy – and I really mean that! 😁
Descriptions of some of the activities in the videos
Walking Game 1: “Hard Way Walk”
This is all about walking differently. Don’t just stay on the sidewalk. It’s time to do things the “hard way” again. Walk on the grass, up and down hills, under signs, around mailboxes, trees, under or around signs, on and off the curb.
Main Concept: avoid straight lines and find curves and level changes to your body position.
Walking Game 2: “Bounce, Catch, or Fetch”
Use a ball, stick, or any object which you can catch. Bonus brain points for using something without an “easy” shape.
- Toss a ball back and forth between left and right hand, count number of tosses before a drop. Vary speeds and heights of tossing so that you try high, slower tosses and lower, faster tosses. The former works on general catching skill and the latter on reactivity.
- Bounce your ball off fence, toss over branches, etc. all while continuously walking so you are catching the ball on the move.
- With a partner, toss your object back and forth to each other. Do this while walking side-by-side, forwards-to-backwards, or with both of you walking sideways facing each other.
- As fun and easy as it can be to toss a ball, it’s just as valuable to use a small stick or other object with a non-uniform shape. This type of object won’t work well for bouncing but is great for tossing and catching.
Walking Game 3: “Lines & Cracks”
The primary school game of “step on a crack, break your momma’s back” returns with a new and improved version posing no threat to your mother’s spinal health.
- Avoid stepping on lines or cracks in the sidewalk.
- Or do the opposite: Only step on lines and cracks.
- “Tightrope” walk on the curb
- Follow the random, squiggly lines of sealant on roads or sidewalks.
- Follow patterns in hotel carpet – finally a benefit to the wide variety of consistently hideous carpet found in hotels with all sorts of odd patterns and colors.
Walking Game 4: “Walk Like an Alien”
While on a walk, pretend you are an alien life form studying earth. Each time you do this, you are assigned something different to study. One day it is whatever plants you encounter. Another day it is whatever animals or birds. Another day the shape and texture of any vehicles you encounter. The options are endless. Even within the plant option, you can focus further still on the shape, color and texture of leaves or branches on plants or trees. There endless ways to narrow your focus on a different aspect of the physical world on a walk.
Fitness and movement are too much fun to let it be boring. And they are too important to not get done enough to make your life better. When you make things enjoyable they are easier to do and you don’t have to force yourself to do them. Let the walking games begin!