Walking group: Banish boredom, boost motivation

Starting a walking group requires little effort and provides big rewards. Simply spread the word and get organized. Soon you'll be walking toward better health.

By Mayo Clinic Staff

Because walking is possible for most people and doesn't require special skills or equipment, it has become the most popular form of physical activity in the U.S. If you like to walk, why not invite others along on your walking adventures. Getting support from others by walking together can actually help you stick with your health and fitness goals.

Starting a walking group isn't that hard, and the rewards are worth a little extra trouble.

Benefits of a walking group

You already know the health benefits of walking. Here's what else you get when you walk with others:

  • Accountability
  • Motivation
  • Safety
  • Socialization

Recruit members

To start a walking group, start by spreading the word. Talk up your walking group among your family members, friends and neighbors. Use your Facebook or Twitter accounts to reach out to interested friends and friends of friends. You might be surprised to find that you're surrounded by people who are ready to lace up their walking shoes — and hold each other accountable for regular exercise.

Maybe you'd prefer recruiting colleagues. Ask your employer about having a friendly workplace competition. Challenge those in your work group to a pedometer contest, for example. The group that achieves the most steps takes home bragging rights or a simple prize. Or, keep track of the number of minutes of activity for the group and see who comes out on top each week.

Feb. 18, 2014 See more In-depth

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