Walk This Way

Walking outside can be an enjoyable mental and physical health break. Here are six habits to incorporate into your walking routine.


Spring weather is here, and the best way to celebrate is to go outside! Going for a walk is such a simple yet effective exercise that also helps provide a mental break and a change of scenery. I used to not consider walking as a fun or therapeutic activity, but sometime in March 2020 I went on a walk to help clear my mind. I was able to get out of my small space and actually explore the new area that I had just moved into in January. I was also able to change my focus for a brief second from worrying about the amount of work I had to do— and the lack of will and discipline I had to actually achieve it— to enjoying the little joys in life. I had my headphones on and was playing Jay Shetty’s podcast On Purpose to clear my mind. When I returned from my walk, I felt refreshed and ready to tackle my work with a clear mind. Now, I try to go for a 30-minute walk every week, and when I do I see the benefits in my productivity and thought process. Here are six routines I incorporate into my walks:

Dress for the Weather

Check the weather to ensure you are well prepared, and plan how long you may want to be outside for. Ensure you are properly equipped with the right gear, so you won't get deterred by feeling "too cold" or "too hot." Wearing a light jacket helps with layering so you can easily take it off and wrap it around your waist if it gets warmer. It is not necessary to have running shoes, but it is essential to have comfortable and, if possible, breathable shoes. 


Have a Soundtrack for Your Walk

If you are worried about being bored while out on a walk I would suggest either download an audiobook you can listen to, a podcast that you have been wanting to catch up with for the longest time, or your favourite artist’s new album that you haven’t quite had the chance to fully listen to all the way through.


Plan Your Route

Plan out a rough route that you’d like to take— it doesn't have to be anything too fancy like an epic trek through the river valley, it can be a walk around your neighbourhood. If, like me, you are relatively unfamiliar with your area, just ensure you are aware of your surroundings. You never know, you might even see something interesting like snow in spring!



Do some light stretching prior to your walk if you feel inclined! Walking DOES count as exercise, no matter how strenuous or not strenuous you think it is. If you plan on walking quite a distance or at a fast pace, it is good to stretch if it is something your body and muscles aren’t quite used to. That muscle pain the next day is seriously not worth it! The City of Edmonton also has approved electric scooters around the city, in case you get tired of walking.


Stay Hydrated

The sun is staying out a little longer these days, so as always it is important to hydrate! Take a water bottle along with you on your walk as you never know when you might suddenly feel thirsty. Walking is a form of exercise so it is normal to need some hydration to replenish your perspiration (#bars!)

Stay Safe

Since we are still living in the era of COVID-19, please pack a mask with you. Even if you do not wear it for the majority of the walk, you never know and it is always better to be prepared and to stay safe. If you are walking with someone outside of your household, you should wear a mask if you cannot stay the required 2 m distance apart at all times. Stay familiar with updated outdoor fitness, recreation, and performance health measures.

Enjoy your walks and if you are so inclined take pictures of the nature or the crazy sights  (#snowinSpring!) around you!