Walking for Fun and Fitness
1—New shoes! If you have been wearing the same shoes for walking for over four months or five hundred miles, it is time for new ones. The most important thing to remember about walking shoes is: make sure they don’t hurt before, during or after your walk. You can find decent shoes in all price ranges. Be sure they fit well and do not cause blisters or new aches or pains. Get shoes that make you have happy feet. Try a new color, too.
2—Clean up. Grab a trash-collecting bag and some gloves and take a clean up walk around your neighborhood. You can pick up everything you see, or just pick up recyclables to help the environment. How about collecting aluminum cans, redeeming them and donating the money to your favorite charity? That’s a triple-play: personal fitness, community and planet improvement and giving back. You go!
3—Picture it! Take your camera and photograph the awakening. Trees budding, plants blooming, shoots poking through the ground. Baby ducks, new bird nests. Kids riding their bikes. Document your waking walking world in pictures. Be creative and get really close up to an opening daffodil. Or a mud puddle. Or your new shoes as they walk you down the street.
4—Connect. Invite someone to walk with you. Try asking your kids, your dog, or your husband. Then, ask your friends. Ask someone once or twice a week. Make a habit of walking regularly with your Great Aunt Wanda on Wednesday. She needs the company and you both need the exercise. No Wanda? Ask your neighbor. Reach out to someone.
5—Set new goals. It’s part of our genetic history to want to be more active in spring. Longer days with more sunshine and better weather propel us outside. Don’t fight the feeling. Get out there and “Move it”! Increase your distance this week. Speed it up a bit next week. Try walking intervals to challenge your body and boost your metabolism.
6—Have fun! Hop. Jump. Skip. Be silly. Who cares who watches you? Invite them to play, too! Ask them to take your picture. Buy new music for your mp-3 player and sing. Out loud. And, if you are just too darn shy to do that for real, outside, then just imagine yourself doing it as you walk. Make them wonder what you’re smiling about!
If you would like some new upbeat music for walking, buy “I Like to Move It” from the Madagascar soundtrack. It is funny and motivating! But, there are others good for walking on this soundtrack, too, like Boogie Wonderland and Hawaii Five-O and Chariots of Fire (great for warm up and cool down.)
And, for a great, inexpensive point and shoot digital camera for taking pictures on your walks, I recommend the
Kodak EasyShare .
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