Walking shoesSpring officially arrived at 5:48am this morning and it didn’t get here a minute too soon. After being cooped up inside during the Winter that Would Not End, spring is the perfect time to get outside and take a walk. Here are 6 reasons to inspire you.

1. It’s good for you! Lower stress, increase cardiovascular health, soak up some vitamin D – you’re bound to feel better. The Mayo Clinic has some great tips to get you started.

2. The Quad City area is blessed with one of the best urban recreational trail systems in the country, and they’re right outside your back door (in a manner of speaking) Duck Creek Parkway, Ben Butterworth Recreational Trail and the recently opened Sunderbruch Park all feature great walks and trails with a view.

3. Walking is cheap. All you need is a supportive pair of walking shoes and you’re ready to go. No fancy club memberships, no special equipment, just you and your feet. (Please also wear appropriate clothing!)

4. Birdwatching. Located in the midst of the Mississippi Valley flyway gives us many unique opportunities to observe birds of all kinds, from bald eagles to native songbirds. Be sure to grab a birdwatching book from the library (598 call number) so you know what your seeing.

5. Get in touch with nature. Walking gets you out of your automobile/house cocoon and connects you to the outdoors. Walking also slows you down, making it easy to observe and notice the details that rush by most of us during our busy daily life.

6. Connect with your friends and family. There’s something about taking a walk with someone that makes it easier to talk. Put down that cell phone, set the video game aside, turn off the tv and talk to a real person!

Want to get involved with an organized group? Check out the Mississippi River Ramblers, the local chapter of the American Volkssport Association. Volkssport offers non-competitive, family-oriented participatory sports events.

Now, no more excuses – get out there and take a walk!