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Walk this Way

Recent circumstances you might be familiar with have led me to want to get out of the house. I decided to combine this desire with my desire to get moving - I figured I would give walking a try. I’ve attempted to get myself on a walking schedule before, but was never consistent with it. I am not particularly an outdoorsy person, but now I’m realizing all the ways walking outdoors has been a benefit to me, and I’m loving it! Besides saving my sanity and getting exercise, walking has allowed me to better appreciate my surroundings, like the lakes near my house, the blooming trees (which I love despite my allergies), and even something as simple as a light or blustery breeze. Walking has been my daily “zen.”

I don’t have a pedometer (yet - but Mother’s Day is coming up, just saying) so I have been using the mobile app Strava to help me track time and distance. It helps me to push myself. It also offers the option of doing challenges with friends. It’s for expert runners, or beginning walkers, like me.

I love music, so I prefer to listen to something while walking. It gets me motivated to move! The Mercer County Library System is a great resource that offers music, as well as audiobooks, you may download for free. On our home page you will find a section on Online Content. To access free music, try exploring hoopla. I find the easiest way to use this for walking is to download the app on my phone, which makes it so convenient!

If you prefer to listen to a book, you may borrow one from elibraryNJ or hoopla. I recently listened to The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz, which I read years ago. Listening to it gave me such a different perspective on the book; it really connected me to the characters because I could truly hear their voices come to life. Before I knew it, I was looking for reasons to go walking! If you’re looking for listening suggestions, check out Next Reads, a genre specific newsletter highlighting recent releases and other popular titles. Another great resource found on our home page is our Staff Picks. I have gotten some great tips on books from my colleagues!

Walking and soaking in some sun, watching its rays dapple the lake, spotting beautiful birds, and hearing the trees rustle has provided a much-needed break. I would highly recommend giving walking outside a try. You might find some zen too! For those of you who are still contemplating a walk and need some inspiration, the Mercer County Library System can help. Here’s a list of digital books to get you started:

Born to Walk: The Transformative Power of a Pedestrian Act by Dan Rubinstein
Combining fascinating reportage, eye-opening research, and Rubinstein's own discoveries, Born to Walk explores how far this ancient habit can take us, how much repair is within range, and guarantees that you'll never again take walking for granted. Available here through hoopla.

You: On a Walk by Michael F. Roizen, M. D.
The bestselling authors of the YOU series, Michael Roizen and Mehmet Oz, have created an original audio program specifically designed to help you meet your daily walking goal -- and have fun doing it. You: On a Walk presents two thirty-minute walks, one faster and one slower, set to music that is timed to keep you moving at the pace that is right for you. Along the way, Drs. Roizen and Oz keep you company as you walk -- telling you about the benefits of walking, sharing pointers and health tips for you to think about, and motivating you to keep going for the entire half hour, all in their signature comfortable, encouraging and entertaining style. Available here on hoopla.

Just Off for a Walk by Stephen Reynolds
What happens when a 37-year-old office worker, who exercises marginally less than the average cheese sandwich, decides to walk 630 miles of challenging coastline in one go? Will he go on an epic voyage of self-discovery. . . or just get really knackered? Find out the answers to these important questions, and many more, by joining him on a grand adventure that takes in 26,719 steps, 921 stiles, 302 bridges, 91,000 feet of climbing and descending, 1 seal, 0 basking sharks, lots of chips and 1 overweight, oversized backpack.

Walk Away the Pounds: The Breakthrough 6-Week Program That Helps You Burn Fat, Tone Muscle, and Feel Great Without Dieting by Leslie Sansone
Leslie Sansone has multiple DVDs on walking at home, available in the library. In the meantime, you may borrow this digital title to get to know her. For over twenty-five years, Leslie has helped more women get off the couch and onto their feet than anyone else in the fitness industry. Her secret? If you can walk, you can achieve the weight-loss goals you dream about...with none of the intimidation or negative messages that have stopped you from succeeding before.

- by Ilene Z., Robbinsville Branch 

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