(sorry about my exclusivity, but this post is aimed at people with, like, legs)
This isn’t a guide for babies taking their literal first steps in the world, not does it involve ideas to help one’s performance in perhaps the world’s most ridiculous-looking sport that doesn’t involve a horse; this is advice for getting into walking as a form of exercise, if running is either too infuriating, tiring, or too much bloody effort.
1) Pick a distance
It doesn’t really matter what this distance is, as long as you have a set length to cover; I’ll be the first to admit that relatively long-distance walking can be dull at times, as there isn’t the pain of intensive exercise to occupy one’s mind, and so the 107th minute of a two-hour walk can be tough to get through. If you have a defined end point, it gives you a goal to aim for, to help motivate you.
Also, having an end point gets around the ‘I’ll go until I’m tired’ idea that I tried to use while running – I would end up exhausting myself two laps into a three-lap course and calling it a day, because I hadn’t picked a distance that I could pace myself across properly. I understand that fatigue may be less of an issue with low-intensity walking, but you might find yourself ‘walking until you’re tired’ meaning ‘I’ll walk for ten minutes less each day than previously’.
2) Appreciate nature
I know that you spend quite a lot of time on the Internet, as you’re not only using it now, but you’re so bored that you’ve trawled across the billions of web pages available to you and found a guide on how to walk by someone you probably don’t know, and has no authority on the subject (unless you’re my grandma reading this, in which case, hi!). It is reasonable to suggest, therefore, tat you may not spend as much time outside as you could.
Nature is cool, okay? It;s colourful, vibrant, and has an aesthetic depth we’ll never accurately convey in the most extravagant of 3D films. Even if you don’t like all the greens and browns of the natural world at first, consider that everything you think looks cool – from impressionist artwork to the Transformers films – was inspired, somewhere down the line, by nature; so shut up and appreciate the only bit of planet Earth that isn’t a knock-off of something else.
3) Take water
This isn’t the sort of advice an overbearing parent gives to a child, to ‘take a coat’ on a day so hot the plastic in a supermodel’s tits may actually be melting, but this is actual health advice: I’m no doctor, but if you walk, you lose water in sweat, so you need to replace it with more water. And none of the electrolyte pseudo-science that dominates the wet dreams of Lucozade marketing executives.
4) Remember that people are annoying
Yes, that person is really walking four dogs down a pathway narrower than a single ramen noodle, and yes they expect you to piss off into the grass so that Fluffy doesn’t get her paws wet; yes, you were just shouted at by a hoard of parents with oversized buggies for saying ‘damn’ to your friend in front of poor little Timothy; and yes, there will be men who don’t understand that having more hair on one’s moobs than on one’s head is rather unbecoming. Get over it, people are weird.
If you enter the ‘real world’, a place where you can’t filter the people you interact with by a Friends list or group of Followers, you will encounter a load of people whose mannerisms, demeanours, and very existences will piss you off. If you expect to be annoyed by your fellow Earth-dwellers, you’ll be much more prepared for when it happens. Also bear in mind that they probably hate your guts too, so you can avoid each other, and a conflict, by keeping your distance out of mutual ignorant hate.
5) Bring music or a friend
I know it’s a sad state of affairs when repetitive music playlists obtained through money and/or illegal downloads are literally interchangeable with another human being with ideas and emotions that you’ve invested the time into to befriend, but in the case of walking, the two are fairly equal. The waling will occupy your mind, nature your eyes and nose, so your ears need something to do (taste doesn’t get bored – we only use it three times a day anyway), and idle chatter or music will help stave off the boredom.