The Diet Detective: 7 Ways to Do More Walking

Get a Dog

Research reported in the Journal of Physical Activity and Health found that, "not only did owning and walking a dog impact the amount of walking a person does but also that dog walkers were more active overall." That said, you don't get the health benefits of dog ownership if you simply let your dog out in the backyard to do his or her business.

More: 10 Best Dog Breeds for Outdoor Junkies

Make it Social

Research has consistently indicated that social support is a significant factor in determining physical activity participation. Walking in a group will increase motivation and distraction, and will help you challenge yourself by keeping up with the others.

You can even create a walking club of your own using Twitter, Facebook or sites such as Or go old school and put up fliers in your neighborhood, school, religious and/or recreational center.

More: 3 Reasons to Have a Workout Buddy

Make it Practical

A common complaint is being too busy to exercise. So fit your walking into things you need to do anyway. The kids need to go to school—why not walk them to the bus stop? If it's too far to walk all the way to the store or wherever you need to go, drive or take the bus halfway and walk the remaining distance.

Walking Shoes

Before you go outside and start counting your steps, keep in mind that you need to have the proper shoes.

Podiatrists suggest getting cross trainers, or shoes designed specifically for walking or running. And, stay away from those "designer" shoes that are all looks but no support.

More: Spring 2013 Running Shoe Guide

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