Exercise Ideas for Outdoor Walking Groups

Can we please walk somewhere other than around the block again?
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With the same views, the same turns and the same people, your regular walking group may become a little boring. However, with a few twists and new ideas, you and your friends can liven up your walking experience, make things fresh and keep everyone motivated to participate and get active.

Add Obstacles

If your group generally walks around the neighborhood or local track, you're constantly walking on relatively flat surfaces. For a change of both scenery and muscle use, move your group to the local nature trail or beach. Nature trails provide uneven and random surfaces. You may have hills to climb, streams to jump or bushes to avoid. At the beach, you have two different options for a walking workout. Stroll on the hard sand closest to the water, or move to the dry and shifting sand for a more challenging workout.

Adjust to the Weather

Weather is an important part of outdoor walking. Some groups head indoors for mall walking during the hot summer months or when the snow hits the pavement. However, instead of moving inside, your walking group can adapt by making a few changes. During the summer, try beach or water walking. Walk in the waves at the beach or move your walking program to the local pool. In the winter, snow doesn't have to stop your group. Cross-country skiing or snowshoeing offer interesting alternatives to walking while still providing a strong cardiovascular workout. Your shoes are just a little different shape.

Par Course

Check your local communities for a par course. Normally considered as an outdoor interval training area, a par course is a trail or walking track with specific exercise stations along the path. These stations may include balance beams, parallel bars or stretching posts. If your local community doesn't have a par course, consider creating one of your own. Walk your regular path, but add a few twists. When you hit the stop sign at the end of the street, for example, line up on the sidewalk and do 20 jumping jacks. Stop walking past those large steps to the office building on your regular walk. Instead, climb up and down the stairs before continuing to walk.


Before making any changes to your exercise routine, consult with a physician. As a walking group, discuss different ideas and see what works for everyone. Always consider safety. Hiking or sand walking may be difficult for some walkers. Work into these activities gradually before heading out for an hour-long hike to the top of a mountain that may lead to injured walkers. After considering all the possibilities, go walking and have fun.

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