Sunrise on Washington Avenue Bridge

Choose Your Daily Walking Destination

We’re a couple of weeks into 2016, so it’s a good time to check in on how you’re doing on the Dr. Lindeke-prescribed New Year’s Resolution to walk more. In addition to all of the great tips mentioned in that post, I have another recommendation – choose a daily destination that you commit to visiting on foot every day.

Here are some steps you can take:

1. Choosing a daily destination

Perhaps you choose to visit your neighborhood park every day. Maybe a nearby coffee shop is more your thing. Or a library, a piece of public art, a specific tree. Or maybe a place of worship or a cemetery.

The idea is to choose a destination that you’ll enjoy visiting. Pick a landmark that is close enough that it’s reasonable for a daily walk in all types of weather. Like the postal service, you’ll be doing this rain, snow, or shine! Whatever you choose, walking to that landmark daily will become a habit like brushing your teeth or making your bed. Only much more enjoyable!

1a. Home and workplace destinations

It may be a good idea to choose a daily destination by your home and also at work. That will increase your chances of making it happen on a regular basis. Plus, who doesn’t want an excuse to take a walk break during their workday?

2. Document your daily destination walks

Whether it’s snapping a photo with your smartphone, jotting down a note in a journal, or sketching the scene, documenting your daily destination is a way to reinforce your new habit. Sharing your photos, notes, or sketches with others may also inspire them to walk more. It’s also fun to look back on how your chosen landmark changes over time or during different times of day.

My daily destinations

I walk to Bryant Avenue bridge on weekends and the Washington Avenue Bridge on weekdays. Both destinations allow me to go on longer walks if I have the time, or serve as a natural stopping point for a bit of reflection before returning home or to work.

Bryant Avenue Bridge

Washington Avenue Bridge

What’s your daily destination?

Let us know your daily destination in the comments either in general terms (e.g. the mail box 10 blocks away) or specifically (e.g. Gold Medal Park). Now excuse me while I bundle up to go visit the Washington Avenue Bridge and the Mississippi River.

Janelle Nivens

About Janelle Nivens

Janelle is an urban explorer who likes to challenge herself to walk long distances (40 miles is her record). She lives in southwest Minneapolis with Scott and their adorable dog Stewie and works at the University of Minnesota. Janelle documents what catches her eye on long walks in hopes of inspiring others to discover hidden gems in their own communities. Walk with her on Instagram, Twitter (@Janellie23), and FitBit.

4 thoughts on “Choose Your Daily Walking Destination

  1. Bill LindekeBill Lindeke

    When I used to work in Manhattan, I would walk each day at lunch to the same lamppost in Central Park and doodle it. Quite comforting, and never the same twice.

    1. Wayne

      When I was first getting to know Boston I would take a train to a new random stop I’d never been to and use the Hancock/Prudential to navigate my way back to somewhere I recognized. I did it dozens of times and it was a great way to sight see places I’d normally never go and to get a really good mental map of the city to use for navigation later on. I kind of miss being able to do that, because riding a bus somewhere takes all the mystery out of it. Just popping up above ground in someplace complete new and foreign is a great feeling.

  2. Will

    Wish I could do that during the day, but my employer exiled us to suburbia surrounded by a parking lot moat and stroads.

    At least, I choose to live in Downtown St. Paul/Lowertown. It makes me feel closer to how I grew up (in Brooklyn).

  3. Betsey BuckheitBetsey Buckheit

    Love this post – I have a couple of daily destinations around Northfield and enjoy watching the landscape at different times and changing seasons, but you’re inspiring me to document the journey to be able to have a more permanent impression.

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