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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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Whitney Shepherd
Courtesy of Whitney Shepherd
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Whitney Shepherd

Age: 47

Hometown: Beaumont, California

Occupation: Owner of a window-cleaning service

I've Walked to Get in Shape For: 3 years

Why I Started Walking: I wanted to do half-marathons, but I found that I couldn't run the entire distance. As a result, I had to incorporate walking into my training and races.

My Walking Routine: I walk or hike four to six times a week. I go with friends on Wednesdays and Fridays, and with groups on Saturdays and Sundays. During the week, we stick to local hills that have trails ranging from three to 11 miles. On Mondays and Thursdays, I walk alone for up to 15 miles. I can complete that distance in about 3 hours.

How I Stay Motivated: Seeing my big butt get smaller.

My Greatest Walking Achievement: Finishing my ninth half-marathon.

My Favorite Walking Fuel: I don't really have a favorite fuel, but I sometimes indulge in French fries after a good hike.

How I Make My Walks Fun: I load my iPod with audio books. Listening to them make me forget that I'm exercising!

My Best Walking Tip: Before you can even think about whether you want to do it, put on your shoes, go outside, and start walking.

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