Hi <>, this month we look at the joys of having a walking buddy to bring new energy and enthusiasm to your walking.

Find Yourself a Walking Buddy!

Have you ever noticed that when you try a new walking program, it can become not so fun after awhile? Where did that initial excitement go?

A great way to keep from letting this happen and - horror or horrors - thinking of giving up, is to find yourself a walking buddy.

It could be your mate, your friend, your grandchild, or your faithful dog. Another living being to keep you company while you walk.

When you find a buddy, make a walking date and then stick to a regular routine - chances of you going off the track are much lower. It becomes more fun and challenging. You have someone to chat with, share how it's going for you, someone to listen to. Before you know it, you're walking on a regular schedule and maybe even walking faster and further than before. Sort of a pleasant surprise bonus if you will. Time just flies by. (Dare we say it? OK, OK. Time really does fly when you're having fun :-) )

There's many ways to put the "fun" back into your fitness walk. Walking in a lively manner gets you out there and discovering new things. When you walk with a buddy and share your thoughts, try to keep up with your buddy (or see if your buddy can keep up with you!) New little adventures can happen and be the spark that keeps you coming back for more every day.

You might think that when you have a walking buddy, it's just you that's getting the benefit. Not true! You're also providing the same benefit for your friend. It's a great idea to include others when you walk.

Are you one of those folks who enjoys walking alone? Why not try walking with a buddy just for a change? There would be twice as many of you out walking for health and fitness. How great is that?

You and your buddy might even start out to explore and create a new, little adventure some days. Maybe go off your normal path and 'check out' something a little different. It's fun to add variety and new little challenges to your outings. Take a different path and see how many new discoveries you can make.

I even found a new walking buddy this week to walk up (literally - it's all uphill) to a nearby village here in the Andes where our friend Aya operates a wonderful organic garden. My new walking buddy and I love to cook and eat fresh organic vegetables, so we're going to make the two mile trip 'up the hill' on a very old and rough cobblestone road. This could prove to be a bit challenging, especially after the rain. But then that's all part of a new adventure too!

It will be all worthwhile when we arrive at the farm and see all those wonderful, freshly-picked vegetables and herbs on display and looking for a new home. What a delightful treat to the eyes! We'll also be treated to some of Aya's delicious, home made organic bread - lovingly baked for her regular visitors.

We'll then head back with our shopping bags filled and enjoy each other's stories on the way back - all downhill! It will feel great to not only walk a good distance, but also doing so on our own personal power. Very energizing.

Got your own Buddy stories? Share them with us here. We all would love to read them.

Having Trouble Finding A Walking Buddy?

Here are a few Google Searches to help get you started. Just add your city, town or area to the search field to customize it for your exact location.

Walking Buddies

Walking Partners

Walking Friends

Let us know how you make out!

Just In Time For Spring!

Check out our choices for the various lines of new shoes for spring on our Best Walking Shoes page. All of the links have been updated to share the spring models with you.

Until next month

Your walking partners,

Yoko and Geoff

PS - Getting a little fuzzy on why walking is so gosh darn good for you? Drop by our Benefits of Walking page again!

PPS - Feel free to pass a copy of this newsletter on to your friends. They might enjoy it too!