BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) – One of the most beloved fictional characters in classic English literature is known for her deep love of solitary walks in nature.

Reflection must be reserved for solitary hours; whenever she was alone… and not a day went by without a solitary walk, in which she might indulge in all the delight of unpleasant recollections.

Jane Austen, ‘Pride and Prejudice’

According to the famous quote above, Elizabeth Bennett, a main character in Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, was fond of walking because it gave her time to think deeply about her interactions with others.

Some might agree with this perspective on walking. But others may feel that the activity, while useful to the maintenance of health and well-being, is a bit boring.

So, what can a person do if they want to learn to enjoy their daily 15-30 minute walk?

Five related tips from health experts who contribute to sites like Real Simple and Walking for Health and Fitness are listed below.

#1 Enlist a buddy

If you’re not a fan of exercising solo, get a buddy or two to tag along on a regular basis. If that’s not possible, simply give one of your best friends a call and catch up while you’re strolling through nature.

#2 Plan your music in advance

Life is better with a soundtrack, and this is also true when working out. According to Real Simple, “Studies show that music can be a great motivator, especially when it comes to exercising. Put technology to work and create playlists to get a specific response from your body… Go through your music collection and select songs that match the type of workout you want to complete. Steady beats are great for endurance workouts while you might want more powerful music for doing intervals.”

#3 Walk with a specific goal in mind

Instead of walking aimlessly, experts suggest coming up with a weekly walking schedule with specific goals in mind.

Real Simple advises, “For instance, Monday you might do an interval walk; Tuesday could be a light walk with a friend; Wednesday might be a steady-state walk for 45 minutes; while Thursday you could practice mindful walking by shifting your attention to the external.”

#4 Use the opportunity to brainstorm

If you’re walking alone, this might be a good time to wrap your mind around one of your most pressing concerns and analyze it.

Walking for Health and Fitness suggests, “Stuck with a work-related dilemma? Family issues weighing heavy on you? Walking has a soothing effect on the body and the mind… Recent research led by the University of California, Los Angeles shows that taking a short walk each day can help to keep the brain healthy, supporting the overall resilience of cognitive functioning.”

#5 Take photos of captivating images

You can use your phone or a small camera to take photos of beautiful scenery, interesting plants, or animals while you’re walking. Posting the images on Instagram or Facebook can give followers something interesting or positive to look at.

Not only will you likely improve your photography skills, but a once boring stroll just might become fun.


If you’re in the Baton Rouge area, you can also take advantage of a special walking program offered by the Recreation and Park Commission for the Parish of East Baton Rouge (BREC).

During September, BREC will host a free Urban Nature Hike event at Baton Rouge’s Milford Wampold Memorial Park. This walk will be part of a series that will teach participants how to take their neighborhood walks to the next level.

Click here to register and learn more about the series.