Use these walking motivation stickers in your planner, diary or “to do” list to remind you to walk and to track your walks. You can print them on A4 or letter paper – either way the box sizes are:
Icons – 2cm wide
Text boxes – 2.5 cm wide
There’s a choice of PDF or PNG file and, if you have a cutting machine, you can also download a blackout PNG version for easy tracing.
The benefits of walking
#1 Burns calories
An obvious one. The more active you are, the more calories you burn.
#2 Makes your heart stronger
When we exercise, our heart has to work harder to get more blood to the working muscles. It adapts to this by growing bigger and stronger. This means we have more energy and a healthier heart.
#3 Improves your circulation
As well as improvements to heart function, the circulatory system also adapts to become more efficient at delivering the blood to the muscles.
#4 Reduces stress and anxiety
All exercise can be beneficial to mental health, but walking outdoors is particularly beneficial.
#5 Improves mood
As well as reducing stress and anxiety, exercise causes endorphins to be released, which give rise to feelings of wellbeing.
#6 Strengthens your muscles, ligaments and tendons
Although walking won’t strengthen the muscles and other tissues as much as strength training, it does have a strengthening effect.
#7 Improves your flexibility
Lack of movement makes muscles tight. Regular exercise maintains muscle length.
#8 Improves your balance and coordination
All exercise is good for balance and coordination. If you walk on different surfaces, in different weather conditions and on different gradientss, all these factors help to improve balance and coordination.
#9 Helps build or maintain bone mineral density (meaning reduced risk of osteoporosis)
Loss of bone mineral density is a problem for women as we get older, especially after menopause. It makes our bones more prone to fracture and can become a serious health problem, known as osteoporosis. The best protection against loss of bone density is weight bearing exercise. After middle age, the potential to build bone density is limited, but weight bearing exercise will still help to maintain existing density. Weight bearing exercise means exercise in which we are on our feet, supporting our body weight and moving around. Obviously, walking is a good example of this.
#10 Improves joint mobility
There are two factors to being able to move all our joints freely through a wide range of movement. One is flexibility and the other is having healthy well-lubricated joints. Exercise strengthens the ligaments which keep our joints strong and stimulates the joint lining to produce lubricating fluid.
Walking motivation – some tips on sticking to a program
One of the biggest challenges in sticking to an exercise program is staying motivated. Some common motivation strategies which have been shown to help include:
Scheduling your exercise session
Planning out when you will exercise and noting it down is much better than thinking you’ll exercise when/if you have time. See the suggested posts at the bottom for some scheduling printables.
Tracking your sessions
This can be as simple as ticking your workout off as “done”, or can involve making detailed notes about factors that affected whether or not you did it, such as your mood or unexpected events. You can use the stickers in this post to keep a simple record, or see below for some more detailed trackers.
Reminders and prompts
These aren’t necessarily in case you forget to exercise, they act as reinforcement. So, if you use reminders like the icons in the download, or post-it notes, it reinforces in your mind that the exercise session is happening and isn’t optional.
An exercise partner
This isn’t for everyone, because some of us prefer to have time out alone to exercise. However, having someone you exercise with can be a very strong motivating factor. This isn’t just because it makes it more sociable and enjoyable, it also makes you more accountable. If you opt out of your session, you’re letting your partner down too.
Get a free printable of the walking motivation stickers
Sign up for My Fitness Planner updates and get the free printable download link e-mailed to you:
After you sign up, you’ll get 3 e-mails:
The first will ask you for a one-click confirmation of your subscription
Once you’ve confirmed, you’ll get a second e-mail with a link to your download and a separate welcome e-mail