Other than a good pair of walking shoes, you don't need much to walk.
That is why I like it.
I step out my door and I am walking.
So why are mind games important. After a time the mind gets bored (mine does) and starts working against you, trying to engage you in other things so that it is happier. The mind has good intentions but it doesn't benefit your body.
The most obvious method that works for most people is reading about walking. I won't suggest reading materials here but they abound. Just do an Amazon or Library search on the words "walking exercise" and you'll have your pick!
One of my favorite games is my pedometer. Currently I am using the Striiv Pedometer, and I have blogged about it here. But generally any step counter will work if you are new to the idea of "counting your steps."
It is simple. The more steps you take, the more you have moved. Yes, getting your heart rate up for a specific period of time increases the health benefits, but it all starts with moving. You can't lie about how much you have moved if your step count for the day is around 2,000 steps instead of 10,000 steps (the recommended number of steps needed each day for good health.) And if you think 10,000 steps a day is enormous, look to the Amish. Pedometer studies have shown that the Amish take an average of 18,000 a day. An average!!
For me: I am trying to do 10,500 steps in July. I won't make it. I had too many days below 10,000 earlier in the month, but August is another month and I will make it then. And then I will move the bar - September might be 10,750 steps. The goal is to keep moving and keep increasing. The pedometer keeps me honest. And my brain likes to beat my last step number.
Another brain game I particularly like is Walker Tracker - a free online site where you can log your steps each day. Walker Tracker is almost like a Facebook for walkers. You can do the minimum which is log your steps each day - and see trends and stats from that simple action alone. You can also bump up your participation by blogging some on the site, or making friends called "comrades" (I am esknitter there), you can get information about walking in the discussion groups, you can see ratings for pedometers, you can join like-minded groups on that site (Walking Women of 60, Audiobook Listeners, Weight Loss, Walking Knitters, etc. all with the option of sharing information). But the reason I am on this site is for the "competitions." The map below shows a graphic representation of a competition - walking the Oregon Trail. If you join the competition, your little avatar shows up on a map letting you know where you are in the walk and how far to the finish, what your rank is, etc. Great fun. There are no prizes for winning, just the satisfaction of participating. Check out Walker Tracker if it sounds like something you would enjoy. Look up esknitter - and make me your comrade!
Writing about walking on my blog (yes, doing what I am doing right now), helps me. I love taking pictures on my walk. The paths I take are pretty much the same each day, but the pictures I capture are the snapshot in time of something I saw. I enjoy reading blogs that do this as well - like Life is Good-Smile, my dear blogging friend Happy One, who walks 6 + miles each day in all kinds of weather. Happy One has been doing this for over 25 years. She has risen to a new level - she walk for the joy of walking - I hope to be there someday.
Volks Marching has recently caught my attention. I don't know enough about it to say much now, but I will share what I find out at some point. It is a new mind game for me. And finding new minds games is as important as participating in old ones. Remember, the mind gets bored!
Audio books are a regular part of my life - especially while walking. I couldn't read as many books as I can listen to. There are so many great reads out there and they are often enhanced by a talented reader.
So those are my current mind games - and I am always looking for more. Share what works for you.