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Walking Success Stories: How I Got Healthy

Get inspired by these real women walkers (including two former Walking Challenge participants!) who took strides toward better health. Read their stories and use their tips to stay motivated, eat better, and make walking more fun.

By Angela Law

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Kristine Hendrickson
Courtesy of Kristine Hendrickson
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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.

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