The Diet Detective: 7 Ways to Do More Walking

Make It Scenic

It's important to understand your environmental constraints and barriers. The biggest barriers or excuses for not walking, according to a study in the Journal of the American College of Sports Medicine are the lack of walking trails or sidewalks, not seeing other people exercising, unattended dogs and heavy traffic.

Research shows that the more scenic your walks are, the more you'll want to take them. Seek out the best-looking walking routes. Some parks offer trails specifically designed for hikers. Grass and dirt paths are flat and reduce shock and stress on your feet. If you want a little extra challenge, find paths with hills, and take a few breaks if you need to.

Try to locate walking tours around your city. Sightseeing is very distracting, and before you know it, you'll have walked a few miles while discovering more about your neighborhood or even a new neighborhood.

More: 6 Outdoor Fitness Exercises

On rainy or cold days, use the shopping malls—before you know it, you will have walked the entire mall as you window-shop.

Get an App, Pedometer or Fitness Tracker

There are many great apps and fitness trackers out there, and research shows that accountability helps. Turn your smartphone into a pedometer with the Every Body Walk app from the American Heart Association. It allows you to start, end, pause and resume your walk with the tap of a button and has many other great features.

Other great smartphone apps include and MapMyWalk. They're all very user-friendly and typically either free or very low-cost.

More: 10 Best iPhone Fitness Apps

Fitness trackers such as Nike+ FuelBand, LINK by BodyMedia and Fitbit, keep track of steps taken, calories burned and sleep patterns. They are more expensive than the apps above, but they are also great for accountability and can make exercise fun. Most of these devices automatically upload info to a website tracker or app. They typically cost around $100.

Then there is the basic, inexpensive pedometer, which simply keeps track of steps walked. You can learn more about pedometers at The typical cost is about $20 to $40.

More: Take Your Stride to the Next Step With a Pedometer

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