WHY WALKING IS SO MEANINGFUL
These are just a few of the winners of Prevention ’s twice annual “Why I Walk” contest—proof that walking is a lot more than exercise.
I STARTED WALKING WITH MY MOM as a teenager as a way to connect with her. I quickly grew to love it and have continued walking throughout my life. In college my roommate and I would take long walks to blow off steam, and along the way we connected and became the best of friends! As a single adult, I walked to get out of the house and connect myself to an end-ofthe-day routine. Once I married and had kids, walking was a way to connect with myself and my thoughts—no interruptions! Today I walk to help sort out my thoughts, for the exercise, and as a great way to connect with nature. Walking helps define who I am, and it is what connects me to the world.” —Sheryl Brown, Montgomery, OH
IT STARTED AS DOG WALKS FOR AN ILL FRIEND.
‘Sure,’ I said, but inwardly I groaned. Johnny was accustomed to brisk two-milers, sometimes twice a day. I hadn’t engaged in any sort of routine physical activity since retiring from my job at a veterinary clinic three years prior. Still, I made it a mile on our first day together. My friend—and her Johnny— were delighted. Although I felt like a slug, it made me feel good to see them happy. So I kept going.Those poky one-milers with my four-legged buddy transformed into enthusiastic one-milers, then two-milers. Patient Johnny was happy, and I was thrilled. As my mileage—and stamina—increased, my confidence soared. I am now a professional dog walker who logs about seven miles a day. Rain or snow, sun or clouds—my world revolves around my clients and my joy in moving. And Johnny? After his owner passed, I adopted him.” —Marti Benson, Colorado Springs
I WAS GIVEN A SECOND CHANCE
AT LIFE with the start of my sobriety on October 5, 2018. I then decided to make walking my outlet and changed my eating habits, making small changes at first. Now I walk four to five miles a day, and I have lost 86 pounds. My walks are my “me time,” and they’re every bit for my mental health as my physical health! I’m grateful for my sobriety, as well as the overall commitment to improving my health.” —Hope Szczyglinski, Charlottesville, VA
YOU COULD WIN TOO!
This spring, our contest is for walking groups: Whether you walk with one person or many, together or in spirit, share what walking means to all of you. One team will win a coupon for a new pair of Altra shoes for every member (up to 10). Altra shoes have a walking-friendly toe box that enhances stability and encourages natural form. Learn more and enter for a chance to win at prevention.com/walk-contest.