I’m often looking for a reason to get up and moving.

Sitting still for too long leaves me restless and gets me in a negative mood slump. Walking has been a good solution to that.

They say you find the time for the things you prioritize, and I try my best to fit a daily walk into my work schedule. I treat it like a meeting, and walking with a friend also helps keep me accountable. Around lunchtime, we fit about two miles into each weekday.

It is a great chance to clear my head, get some fresh air and regenerate the motivation to finish up lingering projects. I find I’m more productive on days I walk than days I sit and stare at a blank screen.

Walking is free, and can be done anytime, anywhere. My favorite is walking in nature because it brings a sense of calm, almost like meditation.

On the weekends, I still feel better if I get up and move my feet instead of being a lazy couch potato. Sleep comes more easily, and I feel less tired and groggy throughout the day.

Last weekend, I definitely got my steps in. On Saturday, there were nearly 600 artists lined along the streets downtown at the Little Falls Arts and Crafts Fair, all waiting to be explored. I wasn’t counting steps, but was on my feet for at least five hours straight. On Sunday, I got my steps in at the Gilby’s Apple Orchard corn maze. Chasing a two-year-old around all day will do that!

It’s not hard to be mobile if you put your mind to it. Getting steps in can be as easy as parking in the far lot or a block away from your destination. Or if you’re forgetful like me, I get plenty of steps in by walking back and forth whenever I leave my sunglasses in my car.

I’ve never been one to stick to a regular workout routine, and can hardly compare a daily walking habit to a trip to the gym. It turns out that without putting too much thought into it, I’ve been getting good cardio exercise each day while improving my mood, lowering stress and gaining energy.

The reason walking probably works for me is because I don’t get too serious about it. If I miss a day because I wore the wrong shoes, then I’ll go again tomorrow. I’m not counting my exact number of steps from the office to the Ripple River bridge, measuring the distance or tracking the amount of calories burned. I just do what feels good and go with it. Don’t sweat the details.

Brielle Bredsten is the editor of the Aitkin Independent Age.

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