Here’s Your New Year’s Resolution: Go Out and Walk More

how to walk

You don’t have to do any of these things.

New Year’s Resolutions are so hard to come up with. But luckily I have one for you, and no matter who you are, with very few exceptions, it’s a good one.

In 2016, walk more.

Walking is a great thing to do, good exercise, calming, relaxing, and it connects you with the places and people around you. When you walk more, you have more time to experience your environment at a pace that allows for reflection and observation. It’s by far the easiest way to get exercise, and just about everyone can do it without much equipment other than shoes and some clothing.

Seasonal walking

sidewalk-in-fallWalk more in the winter. Maybe get some “yak trax” if it’s icy, or some boots if it’s snowy. But if you wear a warm coat and a decent hat, you’ll find you can enjoy walks in all but the worst winter weather. Walking in the winter is a great way to see more things (because leaves are gone from trees) and to experience the beauty that comes with colorlessness. Snow on things is beautiful. The world is quieter, and it’s easier to hear your own breathing.

Walk more in the spring. It might be a bit muddy, but the signs of increasing life all around you are amazing to notice. Enjoy walking as the light slowly grows over the land. Notice the movements of the sun as it lingers longer in the corners of the sky. Savor the first moment when you walk without your coat, the first feeling of the sun on your forgotten skin.

Walk more in the summer. What better way to appreciate the city than a long walk through the heat, enjoying the people, scents, sounds, and sidewalks all around you. Walk in the park. Walk down the street. Run into people you might know underneath an awning. Savor sweat. Walk with ice cream.

Walk more in the fall. The feel of crunchy leaves under your feet, the slowing of the frantic warmth. This is a great time to walk, and to appreciate the way that the world changes all the time, all around you. Watch for decorative gourds. Experience the thousands of things connected to the place where you live. Walk South with the birds, then turn around.

Some tips for walking more

grand-ave-sidewalkWalk around your neighborhood. A half-hour walk to and from a nearby store or restaurant is a great way to bookend a community experience. Every meal or errand is improved by walking more.

Stop fretting about getting the closest parking space. One easy way to walk more is to simply take the first parking spot you see, and enjoy a 5-minute stroll to your destination. Time spent out of the frustrating car is time well-spent walking more.

Get a dog, or pretend you have a dog. If you have a dog, chances are you’re walking already. If you love your dog, walk more. Your dog will thank you. Alternately, get a dog. Or imagine you have a dog, and walk it.

Get a walking buddy. Conversations are improved by walking, and walking is improved by conversation. Talk more, walk more.

Make it an adventure. Set yourself a crazy goal and walk there. (See these examples.)

Hold hands.

Sometimes people ask me: Who can walk more?

Old people, young people, fat people, thin people, rich people, poor people, lonely people, stressed out people, families, single people, and more kinds of people can all enjoy the benefits of walking more.

Walk slowly or walk quickly, but try it out in 2016, the New Year.


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11 Responses to Here’s Your New Year’s Resolution: Go Out and Walk More

  1. Walker Angell
    Walker Angell December 31, 2015 at 10:27 am #

    Hear hear!

    There is also the option of parking at home and walking to dinner.

  2. Janelle Nivens
    Janelle December 31, 2015 at 11:01 am #

    I love this post!

    I met my goal of walking a minimum of 10,000 steps a day in 2015 (in sickness and in health and in rain (snow) or shine. I walked more than 2,700 miles this year.

    My 2016 goal is to walk 40 miles in one day to celebrate my milestone birthday this year!

    I’m always up for a walk so any looking for a walking buddy know who to contact (@janellie23 on the Twitter)! Also, if you want to walk one of the cutest dogs in the Twin Cities, I’ll bring Stewie along (

    Cheers and happy new [walking] year!

  3. Betsey Buckheit
    Betsey Buckheit December 31, 2015 at 6:10 pm #

    And the US Surgeon General agrees! Get walking and make communities more walkable:

  4. Adam Miller
    Adam Miller January 1, 2016 at 10:48 am #

    Darnit, Bill, I just sat on the couch to watch football. And now I have to plan a walk.

  5. David Markle
    David Markle January 1, 2016 at 12:09 pm #

    Walking is good in so many ways. If properly done, for most people it’s probably beneficial to their joints (better than running) and can be aerobic if rapid. And then there’s the fresh air and sunlight if outdoors!

  6. Wayne January 4, 2016 at 8:25 am #

    Now we just need to reign in the scofflaws that block sidewalks with snow and vehicles and menace walkers at every street crossing and curb cut!

  7. Britta34 January 4, 2016 at 4:58 pm #

    Long underwear in the winter is a must for walking when it is below 30 degrees out!

  8. Wolfie Browender
    Wolfie Browender January 5, 2016 at 8:32 pm #

    Bill, this has motivated me to walk more and get back on my cross country skis. Thanks for the motivation!

    • Bill Lindeke
      Bill Lindeke January 6, 2016 at 8:44 am #

      Win-win! I need to buy a pair of ski boots after I lost one last winter. Any suggestions for somewhere cheap?

  9. Rachel Q January 8, 2016 at 1:33 pm #

    Amen! To all of this!


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