Gradually increase the physical challenge associated with walks. Seeing their physical capabilities improve will provide participants with a sense of achievement, as well as physical health benefits. Here are some ways to gradually increase the physical challenge level of your walks.
Increase your speed.
- Check out “Leading an Inclusive Group—Pacing” to get an idea of the relative speed of your group.
- Time yourself on one route, and then revisit the route several weeks later with a group goal of beating your previous time, even by a small amount.
Take less frequent or shorter breaks.
- Encourage participants to rest whenever necessary, but with a goal of decreasing the total amount of time they spend resting.
Extend the length of your walks.
- Tacking on an extra five minutes of walking each week is a reasonable goal.
Tackle more challenging terrain.
- Walking on more rustic trails can present challenges, such as uneven or muddy walking surfaces, and obstacles like fallen trees or rocks.
- Take routes with more frequent or steeper hills.