The Benefits Of Setting Goals With Virtual Walking Challenges

Having trouble finding the motivation to exercise? These simple challenges could be what inspire you to move while traveling the world–virtually.

Exercise should be a necessary part of our routine. But for many, it’s difficult to find the motivation to even begin.

One of the simplest and most accessible forms of exercise is walking. Most people can do it without any need for fancy gym equipment. You can head outside and just walk around your neighborhood. If you’re more of a homebody, you can invest in a walking pad or a treadmill. But what will make you want to get up and start?

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Woman walking in neighborhood
Photo by Justin Clark on Unsplash

This is where virtual walking challenges come in. These are online fitness goals that measure the distance you’ve walked within a set timeframe. For a price, many of these challenges offer physical medals and digital postcards which you can get along the way or once they’ve been completed.

Some of the challenges take participants all over the world…virtually. They map out walking paths through real life locations so you can imagine yourself there, as you take on the challenge wherever you may be.

Conquering The Challenge

Adam El-Agez founded The Conqueror Challenges, the first app of its kind, seven years ago. According to their website, he was struggling to find the motivation to keep walking regularly, like many of us. It was then when he found an old paper map of New Zealand and he started imagining how far he could have traveled already if he added up all his exercise sessions.

After plotting this manually, he found that reaching destinations helped keep him motivated. This led him to creating the app, to share this goal-setting method with more people. Being highly flexible, participants can choose their own timeframe, from a week to 24 months.

Some of the medals given after completing a challenge
Some of the medals given after completing a challenge | Image via Instagram @the_conqueror_challenges

Many of their popular walking challenges take you through cities such as Tokyo, London, New York, Paris, and Rome. Others explore natural wonders like the Jurassic Coast, Niagara Falls, the pyramids in Giza, and Easter Island. Opening the street view map can help immerse you in the challenge even more.

If you’re looking for a more fantastical challenge, they also have ones themed after Game of Thrones and Lord of the Rings. Find out if you can get to the Iron Throne or make it through the Shire to Mordor, minus all the dangers these journeys come with.

The Benefits Of Virtual Walking Challenges

Having set goals is often a great way to encourage regular exercise, especially when you make them fun by imagining how far you’ve traveled.

Going on regular walks helps maintain health as well. According to Harvard Health, walking could be the key to weight loss and lowering blood pressure and cholesterol. The exercise can also reduce risk of heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and more.

Woman on treadmill on her phone
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels

In a Healthline article, studies also show that walking can help reduce anxiety, depression, and a negative mood, improving our mental health overall.

Aside from the big finish line, reaching small milestones or landmarks in your virtual challenge may also provide a sense of accomplishment. This can give you a confidence boost as you celebrate each achievement.

Aside from personal benefits, some virtual challenges like The Conqueror’s also go towards helping the planet. By planting trees, preventing ocean plastic, and more, our walks can have an impact on the whole world.

Banner image by Emma Simpson via Unsplash.

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