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Walking & Talking

Make a walking date. Invite a friend to walk with you, and you’ll be more likely to do it!

As expected, temperatures dropped to the low 40s, and it was windy, grey, and cloudy. Perfect excuses to blow off a walk. To help me stick to my early spring walks, I made plans to walk with my friend Jessica. Having someone to chat with made the minutes and miles fly by and brightened up an otherwise dreary day.

Research shows that people who walk together walk more. It’s all about accountability. It’s easy to skip a walk if it’s just you. No one else will notice, and it’s too easy to let ourselves down. But if a friend is waiting for you at the park, a neighbor is at the corner, or a co-worker counts on you for a mid-afternoon walking break, you’re more likely to show up because you don’t want to let them down. It’s usually more enjoyable, too.

I drove to Jessica’s house (unfortunately, not enough time to walk the 4.5 miles there and then walk with her). After yesterday’s hill walk, I was looking for more level terrain like her neighborhood. As soon as we hit the road (no sidewalks in her neighborhood either), we started chatting about our kids, work, summer plans, and more. It’s amazing how you get from talking about a 16-year-old who just got her license to Idina Menzel’s performance at the Oscars in 40 minutes and just over 2.5 miles. We were so busy talking that I forgot to snap a photo so here’s one of us from Jessica’s inaugural Oscar party a few years ago.

With my bud Jessica
With my bud Jessica

I don’t push myself as hard when I walk with friends. It’s not that they’re not up to it; it’s just that you don’t work as hard when you’re talking. Walking with friends is more about my head (working out problems that only a friend can help you through) and my heart (connecting and building relationships) than my muscles. We all need both types of walks.

Happy Walking!


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