The Best Locations for Outdoor Walking

By Erin Palinski-Wade

There are almost a countless number of locations you may choose to walk outdoors. You can walk on the beach while feeling the sand between your toes; you can walk through wooded trails as you hike to the top of a mountain; you can walk through the streets of your town or take a stroll at the local park.

There’s no right or wrong location for walking, especially when walking outdoors. What matters is that you pick the right location for you.

When it comes to picking your outdoor walking location, consider the following:

  • What are your top walking goals?

  • Do you have any walking restrictions, such as a chronic injury?

  • What are your favorite outdoor locations?

Your answers to these questions will help you to narrow down the most appropriate walking locations for you. For instance, if you have chronic knee pain, you would most likely do best walking on a flat surface and avoiding an outdoor walking location with a large number of hills.

If you are at risk for falls or have osteoporosis, avoid any locations with uneven terrain that can increase your risk for falls and fractures. If you’re looking to burn the most fat possible during your workout, you want to pick a location that allows you to adjust the intensity of your walk, such as one that allows you to add an incline to your walk.

In addition to deciding on a location that prevents aggravating any injuries and matches your walking goals, you want to decide on a location you enjoy. If you decide to hike through the woods to add hills to your walk but you hate dirt and bugs, you’ll most likely have a hard time talking yourself into walking each day. However, if you love looking at the water, walking on the beach each day is something you can look forward to.

Also consider the convenience of the location you select for your walk. If you can walk right out your front door and start your walking workout, you’re more likely to stick with your workout on a consistent basis than you are if you have to get in the car and drive 20 minutes to reach the beach or the park. Taking all of these factors into account can help you select the perfect location for your personality and goals.