Winter walkCredit: Self

Taking a walk is usually the last thing on my mind when the holidays come around. The winter months are cold, rainy, and sometimes snowy. This year I have a new perspective and will be donning my shoes to take a strut around.

1. Meet your neighbors

In my neighborhood, the lights and trimmings start going up in November. When I walk by I can linger and fully appreciate all the work and creativity that goes into each house and yard. Often my neighbors will be in the middle of decorating, and we will have a quick chat. It makes me feel like my neighborhood is a community rather than a group of strangers in a suburb.

2. Burn off your meal

Food is one of my weaknesses and my favorite thing to do after a meal is to take a nap. If I choose instead to take a walk, then I will burn the calories that would otherwise cling to my waistline. Granted I may not burn the same amount of calories I took in, but I will feel better after a walk and have endorphins instead of a sleepy food hangover.

3. Make a memory

Walking with my family has been a wonderful source of quality time. It gives us the time to catch up on life and gives us the chance to remember holidays past and to make plans for future holidays.

4. Play a game

Walking with younger children can be a chore or a really fun experience. Plan to play I spy (choose an object on the landscape and the group takes turns guessing what it is and say I spy with my eye something “green”), Twenty Questions (Similar to, I Spy, but this time you are thinking of something, and the group only has twenty questions they can ask before they win or lose), or walk like me (Choose an animal and everyone walks like that for thirty seconds).

5. Get inspired

When I walk through my neighborhood, I’m able to see how my neighbors landscape their yard, what colors, they used to paint their house, and where they store things. I take note of what I like and use the ideas to improve my home and yard. It’s like Pintrest in real life.

When you take your last spoonful of potatoes or ice cream slathered pie, decide to slip on your shoes instead of slipping into a food coma. Your body, family, and neighbors will thank you.

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