Looking for step challenge ideas for 2023? Different walking challenges you can do? (Starting anytime, anywhere?!) Then you’ve come to the right place! Here’s our top 10 walking challenge ideas, challenging YOU to become more active in fun & exciting ways!
Why Start a Walking Challenge
So if you’re still mulling whether a walking / step challenge is right for you, the answer is… YES!
Why? Well because there’s countless benefits of walking more (which we’ll touch on shortly), and walking is something that you can easily fit into your day – no matter what you do for work, as there’s just so many simple ways you can get more steps in.
It also tests you both mentally and physically – which is one of the reasons many look to take on a challenge in the first place. It’s what makes us grow, right?! So a walking challenge is always a great place to start!
The Benefits Of Walking More
Whether you’re tracking steps, or the distance covered from walking – ultimately, it results in you walking more. (Woohoo!) This:
- Helps to keep you fit and active.
- Helps alleviate aches and pains. (Which you wouldn’t expect right? But it’s true! Sat at a desk all day? Find that you have a bad back? Then getting up and moving, actually helps to ease this!)
- Walking strengthens your bones and muscles.
- It also improves your endurance, stamina, balance and coordination.
- A big benefit of walking more is the fact that it increases your energy levels!
- It also improves your mood, cognition, memory and sleep…
- And reduces stress and tension. (To mention just a few benefits!)
See, there’s so much to gain, from such a simple thing of walking! So what are some step challenge ideas? Some of the different walking challenges you can take on to get this increased activity in full flow? Well…
10 Best Walking Challenge Ideas (You Have To Try!)
In no particular order, here’s some of the very best walking challenge ideas, filling you with inspiration.
Our challenge to you: Pick ONE to start TOMORROW, and to give it your absolute all!
So without further ado, let’s get stuck in, shall we?! When it comes to walking challenge ideas, you should 100% consider…
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1) 10,000 Steps a Day For [X] Days
So it would be rude NOT to kick this list off with the 10,000 daily steps challenge!
After all, for years, the governments’ activity guideline was to try to walk 10,000 steps a day.
This has now been adjusted to striving for just 10 minutes of BRISK walking, every day… Mostly because people found it difficult to find the time and motivation to get in the entire 10K steps.
But that’s not to say that YOU can’t do it! In fact, the fact that it is hard to do, repeatedly (especially if you have something like an office job!) makes it an even better step challenge to take on…
Because hey- challenges aren’t meant to be easy, are they?
So know your target. (E.G. at least 10,000 steps walked a day.) Set your time frame – perhaps starting with 30 days. Then stick to it; tracking it on a phone, Fitbit, or ankle fitness tracker. (Because yes, these are a thing!)
I personally track my steps on a Fitbit Charge 5 now, but I previously used the free iPhone app, “Pacer”, which was pretty good.
Remember, you can take a monthly average so if some days you walk less than 10K steps, but other days you catch it up – this is absolutely ok.
It’s more about getting that overall consistency and results, to then turn it into a habit!
2) 1 MILLION Steps In a Month
Our next step challenge idea is to set yourself the goal of walking 1 million steps in a month!
Now if it sounds realistic and you’re about to scoff… Don’t! As this was a walking idea I came up with myself… and… COMPLETED!
That’s right, in Christmas 2020, I created the 1 million step challenge and walked 1 million steps, over 30 days, which worked out to 33,333 steps walked a day.
I did it as a charity fundraiser. Here, see the results for yourself:
Now it was hard – both mentally and physically. It really pushed me. Especially as I was barely averaging 5,000 steps a day before that!
The only thing that made it possible to complete was the fact I had a standing desk and walking pad (which is awesome by the way – I couldn’t recommend it more for those who also work from home!)
I wouldn’t have achieved it without this, as I wouldn’t have had the time to get the steps in, without being able to multi-task and work at the same time.
But at the end, I felt so accomplished, lost a lot of weight, and raised money for charity in the process so it was a real win!
Think of a figure, work out what that would mean walking each day, map out how you’ll make it possible, then go, go, go! That’s the best method when it comes to step challenge ideas, if you’re looking for something a little harder, a little further and a little more memorable than the typical 10K a day!
3) Charity Walking Challenges
Another great walking challenge idea, is to do it for charity!
Why? Well because not only does this give you a further incentive to reach your goal, but there’s also so many different options out there, full of fun and creative walking challenges…
You also won’t be alone when you take on a charity walking challenge as hundreds, thousands (or possibly even millions in some cases) will be giving it a go too!
Furthermore, when you take on a charity walking challenge, you can encourage others to do it with you, which again, helps to spur you on if you have friends / family taking part too.
There will be different distances, different locations, different themes and “extras”. You can even try doing it dressed up in fancy dress.
(Just note: walking in a costume is not always the best walking challenge idea if you’re struggling with your fitness, as it certainly makes it EVEN HARDER!)
But have a mooch, see what’s around, and certainly consider adding a charity fundraising element to your walking challenge.
4) Or Do It ENTIRELY For Yourself
If you’re looking for walking challenge ideas as you want to improve your health / fitness, drive weight loss, or create a new healthy habit that supports your mental wellbeing – then it’s perfectly okay (and to be encouraged!) to take on a walking challenge, for yourself, crafted specifically around your needs.
So maybe you don’t want something TOO big, you also don’t want something on a set time-frame. In this case, one of the best walking challenge ideas for you, is likely to be an ongoing one.
Let’s take the 10K walking challenge for example… Instead of doing this for a set 30 days, try doing it every day, for as many days as you can – tracking your “streaks” for how many consecutive days in a row, you can reach it.
You’ll then reset your streaks tally if you ever miss a day, and challenge yourself to see what the longest streak you can get is! How about that for a pretty epic step challenge idea then?!
Or maybe you want something less structured than this… You can even just say to yourself, something like:
“My personal walking challenge is to make sure I’m moving, little and often, every hour, throughout the day.”
Fitness watches actually have reminder options for things like this.
But essentially – you can go as big or small as you like when it comes to personal walking challenges… The most important thing is that it starts to become a real habit and lasting lifestyle change!
5) Make It a Mighty Year-Long Challenge
Feel like a never-ending walking challenge, feels too much? Then stop it at a mighty year long challenge!
It’s still long enough to create lasting habits and significant change, but it’s focused enough to keep you on track.
When taking on a year-long walking challenge, remember – you don’t have to start in January! You can start it at any time of the year. It’s then simply about sticking with it for the full 365 days!
The most common year-long walking challenge is to challenge yourself to walk a set walking distance every month – which leads onto a year long distance-covered target.
It doesn’t matter if you have off days, but it gets you back on track when you know you have the power to make up any “below target” days, over the months and year.
This really helps to motivate you. Talking of motivation…
6) Do a Group Walking Challenge
Next up, we’ve got to mention group walking challenges! Whatever the distance, wherever you go, or however you do it, you can take on a group walking challenge in two main ways:
- By working together, with a BIGGER target, where you all have to pull your weight to cover a certain distance, by combining the distance that you’ve walked.
- By challenging each other, going head to head, to see who can walk the furthest, over a set period of time.
This can be done with friends, family or even colleagues; using a leaderboard to track it and bring out your teamwork or competitive spirit!
It’s very effective, as you get the added benefit of fitness accountability in there too (which is a powerful thing!)
Psst, don’t forget to stay hydrated throughout this. Now might be a great time to try our 7 Day Water Challenge to ensure you’re drinking enough, as you step it up!
7) Walk Somewhere Virtually
We’re flying through these walking challenge ideas now, aren’t we? So what other “versions” or “options” are there? Well, you can always walk somewhere you’ve always wanted to… virtually.
Apps are amazing nowadays… There’s walking apps that allow you to walk routes like, the Great Wall of China, the Andes, the Amazon Jungle – anywhere and everywhere (or so it seems anyway!) It’s brilliant.
Taking on a virtual walking challenge is usually pretty interactive, which keeps you engaged and coming back to track your progress and see where you’ve made it to next!
And yes – it may not be EXACTLY like the “real deal” but it’s great that it’s at least an option… And in our opinion, it’s pretty much the “next best thing!”
Virtual walking challenges can still be combined with solo walking challenges, group walking challenges or even year-long walking challenges (with a worldwide one, taking you from one place to the next!)
See these walking challenge ideas aren’t stand-alone. They’re flexible, easily combinable and here to INSPIRE you! (In whatever way works!)
REMEMBER: Walking is the most popular form of exercise, with six out of 10 people reporting walking at least once in the past week (CDC, 2012) Your challenge here is to simply decide how you’re going to step it up!
8) Walk Somewhere Physically
So we’ve spoken about virtual walking challenges, but – if and where you can – you definitely shouldn’t discount the “real life” ones either.
From the world’s toughest walking challenges (like The Snowman Trek in Bhutan – which has only a 50% success rate!), to coastal walks within your country… There’s plenty to choose from, ranging in difficulty.
Create your own “Walking Challenge Bucket List” packed with your favourite adventures, then schedule them in – one by one, and work your way through them. On that note…
9) Add a Hill!… Or a Cycle, Or a Swim!
Hiking has to be mentioned in our walking challenge ideas, as that opens up EVEN MORE OPTIONS!
It also makes it more difficult… Because not only are you doing a walking challenge, but stepping it up by adding some difficult gradients to push yourself up too!
The great thing with this however, when there is a mountain involved in your walking route – the views typically tend to get NEXT LEVEL! And so it’s well worth it.
Similarly, if you are adding extra elements in, you may actually like to change your walking challenge to a distance challenge. That way, you can also include any miles covered in swimming or cycling – that sort of thing.
This means, no matter what your ability, you can still cover the distance and still feel the achievement!
10) Time-Based Walking Challenge
Last but not least then, our final walking challenge idea, is to make it time-based.
So, instead of tracking steps or distance, you track how long you’re outside to make sure you get that all important fresh air!
Did you know that “15 minutes of natural sunlight daily is recommended for your heart health?”
Uh huh. In fact, there’s many science backed reasons to get outdoors… Immediately!
So whatever the weather, your walking challenge could be to get outdoors and do those 15-30 minutes of brisk walking, every single day. It’s simple- but not always easy, which is why it still pushes you.
That’s All For This One
So there we have it – our top 10 walking challenge ideas which you can now use to set your next walking challenge! I hope this has given you heaps of inspiration for the different walking challenges you can take on.
Whether you’re doing it for work, with friends, with family, or just as a personal challenge for yourself – this is going to make a real positive difference in your life now. (No matter how big or small!)
So great work here, guys… And good luck, whichever walking challenge idea you decide to run with!
Wishing you all the best.