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I’ve known Nelson for 25 years.

I met him one hot day in July 1991 while I was out running. I was on West Liberty, less than a mile from home, when I saw him running towards me. I waved, and he waved back. I could tell he was the friendly type so I yelled, “How far are you going?”

“Three or four miles!” he shouted.

I crossed the street and added a few more miles to my run.

We talked and ran, talked some more and kept running. Actually, now that I think about it, he did most of the talking. Of course, Nelson’s version is that I left him out to die while I headed home.

Since that day I’ve run more miles with Nelson than anyone else.

That’s not why I’m writing this “Corner” though. I’m writing this because even though Nelson is my best running buddy, he’s also the person who got me interested in walking.

Yes, walking.

Nelson believes in walking as a way to stay fit and healthy, lose weight and just stay upbeat. For years, he’s done everything he could to get his coworkers to go on walks, even if it’s just a few minutes during their lunch-break.

In fact, he’s so passionate about walking, here he is with a few exhortations of his own:

Hi guys, Nelson here. And yes, John really did leave me to die on that very first day.

If you’re trying to jump-start a healthier lifestyle, walking is a great way to go. Here are a few easy goals to set for yourself:

  1. Start today by committing to walk at least 20 minutes a day. (Schedule a meeting with yourself if needed to block out the time.)
  1. Put on some comfortable shoes, and get out the door. Walk at a comfortable pace. No need to hurry.
  1. Walk for 10 minutes and then walk back.
  1. Repeat this daily – that’s right, every day.
  1. Over time try to go a bit longer until you can go out 30 minutes  on some days.  This will give you about one hour of walking and about 3 miles of aerobic exercise.

To check your progress, note where you turn around at 10 minutes for the first week or so. You’ll find that in time you will cover more distance as your aerobic fitness and strength improve.

I promise you’ll feel better and will notice a significant increase in energy after only a few weeks!