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Walking Success Stories: How I Got Healthy


Kristine Hendrickson
Kristine Hendrickson

Age: 40

Hometown: Newport, Rhode Island

Occupation: Associate Vice President University Relations and Chief Communications Officer at Salve Regina University

I've Walked to Get in Shape For: 8 years

Why I Started Walking: I had to find a way to get in shape. I hate the gym and found it hard to commit to dance and yoga classes because of work and volunteer commitments. With walking, I am not bound to a schedule.

My Walking Routine: I have two to three routes in my neighborhood that include hills and great scenery: a "safer route" for early morning or late evening walks, and another two for weekends. I try to walk a little every weekday before or after work and on most weekends. I like to walk until I can't walk any more.

How I Stay Motivated: I listen to music, mix up the route, and remember how energized I feel after walking.

My Greatest Walking Achievement: After a recent skiing injury, I've been working back up to my normal pace, and I just walked about 3.5 miles. Now I'm striving to complete a new long route that's at least five or six miles.

My Favorite Walking Fuel: A little bit of peanut butter

How I Make My Walks Fun: I made an exercise music mix that has songs to warm me up and songs that keep me moving as fast as possible before cooling off. During my walks, I challenge myself by asking myself questions like, "Was I at this point on the route when 'Super Freak' came on yesterday?"

My Best Walking Tip: Do what feels good and don't forget to look up while you're walking! It gives you a whole different perspective and your surroundings are usually much more pleasant to look at than the pavement.