Sunday, December 14, 2008


For those of us who are able to or prefer to walk outside, we always have to consider the weather. I will walk in most any kind of weather - but I won't walk outside after dark, on ice, or in a downpour. But, I still want (no, need) to get my walk in. What to do?

There are a couple of simple options. First, put on some bouncy music and move to it. Walk in place. Walk in a circle. You never have to leave your home to get in your walk. Not perfect, but it'll keep you on track and moving.

Is there a mall or large store near you? Most of them welcome walkers, especially in their off-peak hours. Many malls actually host walking groups and clubs. Join one if it interests you. You'll meet people, make friends, and walk more. The only downside to walking at the mall is that the floors can be darn hard on hips and knees. So, walk a bit slower or a bit less. But, don't give up. Take your pain killers ahead of time if you take them.

If no mall is within a reasonable distance, pick the largest store available and go there during hours when they're not busy. Ask the manager. If you're a regular customer, s/he knows you spend money there and will continue to do so, you won't be in the way in off peak hours, and you just might spend more money because you'll be there more often than just shopping day(s). Never hurts to ask. I've never had a manager say, 'No, you can't walk in my store.' Roller skates might be forbidden - but not feet with walking shoes on them. Really....

Buy a walking tape. My favorite is Leslie Sansone. She has many walking tapes (VHS and DVD) available. I have purchased mine at for cheap. She has walks customized for various levels - one mile, two mile, three mile, four mile, senior walking, walking with weights, etc. These have proved well worth the few dollars I have spent on them. When I put on my walking shoes and it starts to pour, I pop Leslie in my DVD player and walk in place for the amount of time I have available. Her miles are about 15 minutes each. She will guide you well so that you don't over exert if you're not up to the level of her walks. Never fear. So long as you march in place, you'll keep up with her easy walk routines. No steps to memorize or fancy maneuvers. Just walking, low kicks, and a few upper body movements if you're up to them.

If you're not sure you want to spend the money for a walking video, borrow one from the library or a friend and try it out. It's a great compromise for many of us. Get your walk in no matter what - and that's what it's all about. No excuses.

Call someone and walk in place or around your home while you talk. Set a timer. Before you know it, you're walk will be over and you'll still want to move. No kidding.

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