Find Accountability and Motivation by Building Your Own Virtual Walking Group

Walk together even if you're miles apart. Fitness trackers and online workout groups can keep you connected.

Becoming more physically activity is one of the most important steps you can take to improve your overall health and wellbeing. But getting in the weekly recommended guidelines for physical activity — 30 minutes per day, five days per week — is easier said than done, especially if you don’t have access to your normal fitness classes, gym, or workout buddies.

We humans are social beings, even when it comes to exercising. We feed off of the energy of others and find strength in their support. Many times, it is this feeling of community that motivates us to get active every day.

Even if you don’t have anyone you can walk with in person, you can still lace up your sneakers, find a group of friends, family, or colleagues, and commit to a regular walking habit by starting a virtual walking group. Walking is an easy and accessible form of exercise perfect for all ages and fitness levels and is one of the most effective exercises for overall health and wellbeing. Among its many health benefits, walking can improve heart and lung health, bolster immune system function, and reduce risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

But how should you go about starting your own virtual walking group?

First, pick up the phone or send a quick text to your friends, family, or neighbors. Next, build your virtual walking group. Reach out to your friends and family — they can live down the street or across the country — and make a collective commitment to get out and walk. Maybe even consider sending some sweaty selfies or share the status of your fitness tracker to celebrate a job well done. Lastly, send words of encouragement or reminders to your group to keep everyone motivated.

The group dynamic will help keep the group accountable — it’s much hard to hit snooze when you’ve made a commitment to others.