Why I Walk
Lisa Manson

Guttenberg, Iowa

I walk every morning with my dog “Ruby” for 20-30 minutes. Then we try to repeat our walk when I get home from work. On the weekends we walk several times a day if possible. I’ve never been good at sitting around so Ruby is the perfect dog for me as she has a lot of energy.

I have tried every type of exercise you can think of in my adult life. The one thing I have been able to stick with is walking. And walking outdoors is so much more enjoyable than on a treadmill. I have been doing my current walking routine for about 15 years.

We walk in the rural area north of Guttenberg where I live. We cover a combination of back roads and timber trails – if you have some different options you don’t get bored. My neighbors and co-workers are often surprised that we walk in all weather and all temperatures. You just need to dress appropriately. I also invested in a good pair of walking poles—they help keep me on my feet in the winter and are great when we hike the trails.

When we brought home our first Australian Cattle Dog we realized that they are high-energy dogs. They need exercise every day, and guess what, so do I! When my alarm goes off in the morning, Ruby is right there ready to go. She is also at the door waiting for me when I get home from work. Now I find that I look forward to our walks as much as she does.

We all have busy lives. When I walk in our rural neighborhood, I often get the opportunity to talk to neighbors that I might not otherwise connect with. I also find that it is a good way to start my day, mentally checking through my “to do list” for the day. And at the end of the day, I can de-stress before spending time with my husband.

Walk for your health—both mental and physical. My energy level is low if there is a day I can’t walk in the morning. And I sleep better at night if I have had fresh air.