Whenever I’m out doing errands, I see any number of gym and fitness centers: Orange Theory Fitness, Core Power Yoga, Curves, Lifetime etc. I always intend to look into joining one of these gyms, but I never seem to do it. Either the classes are at inconvenient times or the gym looks sweaty and intimidating.
But there is one form of exercise that is as easy as stepping outside my door: walking. Walking is the perfect exercise for anyone. It requires no special skills, equipment, or gym memberships. It’s perfect for any fitness level. All you need to do is don a pair of gym shoes and go.
Walking is great because it gets me outside. The other day it was snowing lightly, and the temperature was in the 30s. I bundled up and headed outside in my Merrell jungle mocs. It’s interesting to see the changes in nature on my walks. I love to notice the location of the sun, which in the winter has a southerly bent. Leaves bud in the spring, turn orange in the fall, and wither in early winter.
Even when the weather is inclement, walkers can find indoor tracks or join the seniors as they hoof it through enclosed shopping malls. There is also a series of fun walking exercise videos by Leslie Sansone that you can do in the comfort of your living room.
Walking is perfect because it can be tailored to your fitness level. You can make it more aerobic by going faster, climbing hills, or even adding small ankle and hand weights to your walking attire.
Another thing I love about walking is that it helps me think. I often write entire blog posts in my head as I go. And I’m not alone. In a recent Chicago Tribune article titled “How the bookish stay in shape,” writers describe how they get ideas while they walk. I also use the exercise to help me focus on the day’s tasks and plan for the future.
I’ll leave the jogging, weight lifting, and Iron Man training for the real fitness buffs. But if you’re looking for an easy way to stay healthy both physically and emotionally, try lacing up those sneakers and taking a walk.