A Spring in my Step

The view of our road

The view of our road

The weather has finally cooperated enough in the past three weeks so the dogs and I could start our seasonal walks. I’m a fair-weathered walker and our winter was so brutal here this year that we all got out of shape pretty fast.

The first summer we lived here, the dogs and I would walk about 4 miles per day, even in the heat of July and August. When we moved here, Dale stayed in the city for three months finishing up a job while securing a position here. I was lonely and still in grief over the loss of my mother and the walks on those hot humid days seemed to purge the sadness from me somehow. It also did wonders for my stamina and weight loss. We had gone to our German exchange daughter’s wedding that summer and there’s nothing that will tell you that you’re out of shape faster than a trip to Europe where walking and biking is the norm.

By the time winter rolled around that year, I had lost about 25 pounds and felt great. One of the things I didn’t consider when moving to The Little House is how much exercise I actually got in the split-level we moved from in the city. Besides just the daily exercise of walking up and down stairs from taking the dogs out and letting them back in, I got quite a bit of exercise cleaning it as well. Now that my house can be cleaned in about 2 hours, my weight and my stamina have fluxuated with our fair-weathered walks.

The first week of our walks, the dogs and I did about 1/4 mile a day and by the second week, we were up to ½ of a mile. On Friday, we did our full mile and will stay at that walk until we can double that when the mornings warm up a bit.

I’ve found several benefits of taking walks, which include:

  • Walking stimulates the endorphins in the brain, which curbs sadness and Depression.
  • Clears my mind and makes my creativity flow – always a good thing for a writer.
  • While the big dogs get plenty of exercise running in the woods everyday, the little dogs need an exercise routine to help them stay healthy and fit. The big dogs also look forward to the walks, as it is a set activity. I can already tell the little dogs have lost a little weight since we began walking this year.
  • Walking our road helps me get back to nature, it tells me when the snakes are out (I’ve already seen 2 baby Copperheads on the road this year), when the tarantulas make an appearance in the summer and when the leaves begin to change in the fall. If we’re really lucky, we’ll see some other animals along the way.
  • Of course, walking helps me lose weight, as well as building my stamina – something I need to climb up on the boat before it is launched on those many beautiful days on the lake in the warm weather months.

Do you have an exercise routine that changes with the seasons?


To the Irish, descendents of Irish and Irish-at-Heart, Have a very Happy St. Paddy’s Day!

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17 Responses

  1. I used to be tougher in the face of the winter elements, but this year, with everything else, our walks have indeed been few and far between.

    This week, though, we got out several times. There is another BIG snow storm coming tonight/tomorrow, so we’ll see.

    I’m glad you’re getting out to enjoy the wilderness.

    • kerri says:

      You have had a lot of challenges this year besides the weather. Here’s hoping things calm when winter disappears.

  2. When the weather warms up, my husband and I walk and ride our tandem bike. In the winter, I hate being cold so out goes the outdoor exercise. This winter I was loaned a small indoor trampoline which I used for awhile and then got out of the habit. We have a large house and like to do projects so hoping that I’m not too out of shape. I’m so ready for spring and getting my body really moving, again.

  3. Alexandra says:

    Loved the title of this post!

    We try to walk several times a week, in all seasons, but this winter has been a particular challenge with bitterly cold winter days and snow on the ground for weeks at a time. We discovered a sidewalk, new, around our marina, which is a bit more sheltered than walking at the ocean.

  4. Cindyt says:

    Yes I too am a fair weather walker…but when I started working from home I found that my occasional walks weren’t getting it and I needed to do something else to commit myself to some daily exercise. So I came up with the brainy idea to ‘Walk to Work’ and then to ‘Walk Home from Work’ at the end of the day. It was a quick invigorating way to start the day since my commute was so short. (Bed, Coffee pot, office)It got me going and also…side benefit was I had to get dressed 😉 LOL or risk shocking the neighbors! Now that I have moved to the cabin on the little Pine Lake it is wonderful to view the nature in the morning and evening. Everything from turtles, ducks, egrets, to little bugs. I am looking forward to seeing more signs of spring. some of the blooming trees have started doing thier thing. It gets the blood moving early in the morning with the morning air and gets me and the dogs out before sitting down to a long day at the computer. Then at the end of the day Rain or Shine back out again for a relaxing stress reducing stroll. Getting ready to do that just now! so Ta Ta!!!!

  5. Bj says:

    I too love walking..but here in Texas, even towns with leash laws have enough strays running around that you will get charged and bitten eventually. So, I drive a few miles to get to our very tiny enclosed shopping mall. It is not the same, but way safer. (Currently I am in a town of 25000)
    Perhaps when I move down to my cabin this summer I will be able to get some good walking done. I will not miss the shopping mall walks-that is for sure!
    Happy St. Patrick’s ya’ll!

  6. Susan says:

    I love walking as well and wish I had your beautiful views to enjoy as well instead of my cookie cutter house neighborhood….hope your foot is doing ok during your walks.

  7. Kathleen Winn says:

    My favorite walks are out at our land, where I can go from forest, to glade and to prairie. I have discovered so many things about nature, just by walking in the early morning, or in the evening and observing things. For example, once David and I decided to take a night walk (my husband loves rambling around in the middle of the night out there.)

    It was late summer, when spider webs are everywhere and you have to use a stick to break them up. As we walked, we came across a gigantic spider web, glistening in the light of our flashlight. As we kept the light trained on the web, we could see all kinds of tiny, tiny gnats and other flying bugs, that flew right through the openings in the web.

    We realized that the design of the web, allows small insects that are not big enough for a good spider meal, to fly right through, while larger ones get trapped and provide dinner. This makes sense, because otherwise the web would be full of little bugs and the spider would constantly be chasing after insects not big enough for even a snack. Isn’t nature amazing?

    Glad that you are able to resume your walks Kerri. Love the photo to this blog- beautiful!

  8. We do have beautiful views on our walks. Much better than the rows of cookie cutter houses in the city.
    Happy St. Patrick’s to you as well!

  9. V Schoenwald says:

    I too, am a fair weather walker. I need to get out and walk to get in some what a little shape so I can get my bike out and commute by bike, since it looks like the gas is going to be out of my budget this year.
    Where I live, it is not a good neighborhood to walk, and I can’t find anyone to walk with, so, I just am careful and try to stick close to home. This to me is very sad, and depressing. I would love Kerri’s beautiful view from the road she walks on…Wow!
    Well, everyone, have a wonderful St. Patrick’s Day, and go green.