It’s been a season of eating (and it isn’t even Christmas yet).  I already moan in disgust when I think about chocolate (although I still continue to eat it).  Part of me can’t wait for January to get back on track.  And while I hope that includes some healthier eating  (I’m considering giving up sugar for January and February this year),  I know myself and I know I rather be moving.  So I’m committing to walking 15 miles a week.  That is only 5 miles three times a week or 3 miles five times per week—contrary to my counting in class, I can do math.  In addition to my regular exercise routine, I used to do that easily, but lately I haven’t made time for it.  I’m lucky if I get out once.  Walking is vital to my mental health as well as my physical wellbeing.

Anyone want to join me on this three month challenge to add 15 miles of walking per week?  My Grandma used to walk three miles a day and she swears it’s what has kept her healthy and agile.  If you attend my classes, you recently saw me act out her impressive ability to balance on one foot in the four-stretch potion (right ankle crossed over left knee) while untying her shoe to try on a slipper.

If you’re thinking, “Maggie, you’re crazy, it’s winter.  This is like the worst time to do propose such an idea.”  I’d say you may be surprised.  I mean we should all be smart and pass on going out during an ice storm, but if you bundle up, being out in the crisp, cold air can be nice.  And, I’ve grown to appreciate my time outdoors in all the seasons.  It’s no surprise. Lots of research points to the benefit of exercising outside.  If it’s really bad out, there is always a treadmill.  And if that’s not an option there is always a way to make adjustments—march in place while watching the news or turn on some music and just dance the time away.  Plus, snowshoeing totally counts.

You can combine your stroll with time with a good friend or neighbor.  Walk and talk.  Enlisting someone to join you will help you both commit.  If the thought that is holding you back is that you don’t have time for it, remember that it is probably one of the best ways you can treat yourself this year.

So, who will join me?

The goal:  Add 15 miles of walking per week to your current exercise routine between January and March 2015.  That’s a mere 12-weeks.  Already a regular walker?  Can you add one or two miles each time you go out?