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Putting one foot in front of the other might seem like something completely natural that can be done without thinking. And for the most part, it is! But sometimes, in today’s world of working at a desk, staring at a computer or standing at a retail or restaurant job, it can be hard to get outside and get those legs going.

A perfect time to be intentional about enjoying some sunshine, getting some exercise and breathing some fresh air, Take a Walk Outdoors Day offers just the motivation needed to get outside and get moving!

History of Take a Walk Outdoors Day

As far back as ancient Roman times, people have been interested in measuring walking. In this case, the concept of a mile was related to the need to be able to better plan for the military. In fact, it was the idea of measuring the distance that Roman soldiers were walking that motivated Leonardo Da Vinci to create one of the world’s first mechanical pedometers in the 15th century.

Famous artists and activists such as Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau and Mahatma Gandhi have all shared their ideas that encouraged walking outdoors as a type of physical exercise and meditation for the soul as well as a form of civil disobedience and peaceful protest.

With the purpose of reminding people to stay active and enjoy some fresh air, Take a Walk Outdoors Day offers an excellent reason to connect with health and also spend some time in nature.

Take a Walk Outdoors Day Timeline

15th Century

Leonardo Da Vinci invents the step counter

A predecessor to the modern day pedometer, Da Vinci creates a device to track how far soldiers walked.[1]


George Meegan sets the record for longest walk

Traversing a journey from the southernmost point of South America to the northernmost point of North America in Alaska, Meegan takes 2,426 days to complete the journey.[2]


I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles) is released by The Proclaimers

The Scottish duo of brothers releases their catchy song with the lyrics, “I would walk 500 miles”.


Forrest Gump takes his famous walk outside

In the movie starring Tom Hanks, the character Forrest Gump walks more than 15,000 miles across the United States.[3]

How to Celebrate Take a Walk Outdoors Day

Find a large amount of enjoyment and appreciate the health benefits of Take a Walk Outdoors Day by celebrating with some of these fun ideas:

Take a Walk Outdoors!

Of course, the first thing to do on Take a Walk Outdoors Day is to get off the couch, put on those sneakers and take a walk. Whether it’s waking up early and heading out for a walk in the morning before work, or taking a little jaunt during the lunch hour, this is a great start to creating a new habit of walking for health and wellness. This could be just a 10 minute walk outside to stretch a bit, or a full hour at a solid pace to burn those calories. In any case, the point is to be sure to get outside, at least for a few minutes, and go for a walk!

Make a Commitment to Walking Outdoors Regularly

Since Take a Walk Outdoors Day comes near the beginning of the year, it’s a great time to make a commitment to being healthier throughout the entire year by walking outside several times a week. Invest in purchasing a pedometer, or use one that is an app on a smartphone, to help with motivation on getting those steps in each and every day.

To make this habit more likely to stick, perhaps grab a buddy, friend or spouse to take a walk outdoors together! Taking a walk outside with an exercise partner can be much more fun, offering not only someone to keep company, but also providing accountability.

Create a Musical Playlist for Walking

In honor of Take a Walk Outdoors Day, make a list of music to play while going on that walk. Get inspired by some of these titles that are written around the theme of walking:

  • Walking on Sunshine by Katrina and the Waves (1983). Released by the eighties British Band, this song was the most popular one that the band released.
  • Walking in Memphis by Marc Cohn (1991). Written and recorded by Marc Cohn, this song was nominated for a Grammy Award for song of the year.
  • Walking by Myself by Jimmie Rogers (1956). Learn to appreciate that time alone and for walking on your own.
  • Walk of Life by Dire Straits (1985). Appearing on Dire Straits fifth album, this song has a catchy tune that’s perfect for walking to!

Organize a Community Event

Make this day about not only yourself but about the people in the community around you by creating an event in honor of Take a Walk Outdoors Day. Encourage friends, family members, coworkers and neighbors to get outside and take a walk that can be lots of fun and be healthy for everyone involved. Many people also like to organize these types of community walking events that are used to raise funds and donations for charity, making the benefits and payoff even greater.

Invest in Some New Walking Shoes

Those who are celebrating Take a Walk Outdoors Day might want to consider the fact that proper footwear is very important when it comes to taking care of those feet. In addition to preventing injury, wearing good walking shoes also helps with maintaining the proper technique.

Take a look at some of these reasons that it might be time to consider buying some new walking shoes to replace your old ones:

  • Your current walking shoes are showing wear and tear. Take a look at the soles and treads of those walking shoes. If the treads on the toes or heels are worn down, it might be time to get new walking shoes.
  • Your walking shoes feel loose. Walking shoes should fit your feet snugly and comfortably. If they have quite a bit of give even when tied securely, it means it’s time to start shopping.
  • Your knees and hips are aching. When those walking shoes get a bit older, the midsoles may stop compressing which means they cease to provide the shock absorption and support needed.
  • You want to get motivated to walk more. It’s amazing what a little financial investment in some new walking shoes can do to provide that extra motivation to keep taking a walk outdoors every day.

Take a Walk Outdoors Day FAQs

How long does it take to walk a mile?

The average person can walk a mile in about 14-21 minutes, depending on their pace.[1]

Does taking a walk count as exercise?

Yes, taking a walk is great exercise, has great health benefits, is great for mental health and it’s also free! [2]

Why is taking a walk good for you?

Taking a walk outdoors can help to trim the waistline, lose body fat, improve cardiovascular fitness, strengthen the muscles and much more. [3]

Is walking indoors as good as outdoors?

People who walk outdoors tend to burn more calories, build better agility, and increase their mental health and mood.[4]

What are the benefits of walking outdoors?

Walking outdoors may lower the risk of lung cancer, improve creativity, improve Vitamin D levels and improve collagen levels that help the skin look better.[5]

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