Find A Nature Walk Near You

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Me and my puppy on a nature walk!

I have fallen head over heels in love with walking. But not just any walk – nature walks. There is something serene and absolutely beautiful about walking by a flowing creek or pathway of tiny rocks. Seeing squirrels scurry from tree to tree and hearing birds crisply chirp in the distance is awe inspiring.

Living in the city has really opened my eyes to the beauty in nature. It makes me miss the big open Texas skies and sunshine.

However, thank goodness for technology because there are certain websites and apps that can now help you locate beautiful places in your areas to walk/hike (even if your abode is in a high-rise in the middle of the city).

The American Heart Association has an awesome website: Start Walking Now. Just got to this website and you can enter in your current location and viola – there before your eyes are commonly walked paths with mileage numbers. Pretty great! You can select the intensity level along with the type of walk you would like to go on ie: mall, nature walk, airport…etc.

Trails.com is another good link. Simply choose your state and enter your city and limitless trails and bike paths pop up. It is super easy. You can even customize the website to whatever activity you enjoy the best like biking, hiking, rafting…etc.

Map My Walk is extremely easy to use as well. You can also get this on your phone! Again, just enter your state and city and trails pop up with distances. This interface is really easy to look at and it displays the current weather conditions for the day.

Adding a nature walk, even if it’s just for the weekends, is a great prescription for your health.

Walking in nature can have positive impacts on disposition and memory—researchers have found that students with moderate to severe depression demonstrated a significant increase in both mood and short-term memory after a walk through a natural setting, as compared to a walk through the city.

Also, natural elements like plants, trees, water and sunlight have been said to absorb negative energy.

Start walking in nature today. You really have nothing to lose.

Walk It Off: 10,000 Steps A Day with Fitbit

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Great chart. 10 minutes of walking = 1,200 steps.

It’s depressing that working a 9-5 job (sometimes a lot more) can really deteriorate your health. I am not joking with this one. Just purchased a Fitbit* (little band that tracks your mobility all day) and, I am loving it so far.

However, I do not love the steps that I walk each day.

Fitbit’s goal for you is to walk 10,000 steps a day and increase from there. Upon reading that, I was like – I bet I do that, no problem. Yikes. Nope. Not even close.

When you travel from car garage to car garage and sit at a desk all day in front of the computer, the steps are really lacking. So, time to step it up (no pun intended, ok – maybe a little bit!)

I’ve always wanted to be a runner. Doesn’t it just look cool? You see men and women jogging in their cute clothes, headphones blasting and that motivation in their face! Not to mention, their legs are killer.

Yet, one thing I’m realizing is– you don’t just wake up one day and become a runner. It takes hard work, dedication and self-discipline. You build up to it.

And what better way to build up to this goal then by walking 10,000 steps a day! It’s so simple and somehow brilliant. And, remember don’t compare your fitness goals to anyone else’s goals! Say to yourself, right now, I need to concentrate on those thousands of steps and the rest will follow.

It might be hard to put on workout clothes when you get home from work. But switch from heels to tennis shoes fast (and that can motivate you right there). Turn on some fast, cardio music and get yourself out that door.

Let that number – 10,000 drive and inspire you.

Or for you early risers, just get out the door. Lay out your clothes the night before. You can walk slow at first – almost strolling. Get your heart pumping and you can walk 10 minutes, then 10 more minutes. You can achieve your goal in no time.

I recently read that we should aspire to exercise 30 minutes a day or do 3 miles. That is not much. And just think the rule of 3’s! We just have to get motivated and get our tails moving. Don’t think about the stress in your life, let the laundry wait and take care of yourself. 30 minutes is like an episode of House Hunters (for those that watch HGTV).

Get to it and see your body change.