Stepping into springtime

The Inter-Mountain photos by Shannon Bennett Campbell Nature offers an occasional surprise as spring showers can create beautiful rainbows seen when looking skyward.

ELKINS — Those of us who have had to huddle in our houses for several months are more than ready to step outside and begin our spring fitness walking programs that ensure health and vitality. We count ourselves fortunate that we do not have to deal with the miles of asphalt and concrete like big city dwellers, but can choose some walking spots with pleasant views and some beautiful plants and shrubs to help us enjoy our jaunts.

One of the true advantages to living in rural America is that we do not have to depend on gymnasiums with inside walking tracks to get our distances done each day. Green pastures with newborn calves and lambs can take our eye, as well as the first trees that begin to green up, such as the weeping willows. And, it is one of the activities that invites our participation without having a price tag attached.

Most experts agree that spending time walking is a very good stress reliever and helps us think of other things besides problems we may be having. Often, we are able to calm down and see a situation from other perspectives. This allows us to even resolve some issues that are bothering us.

Sometimes, the daily walking becomes a group activity and friends gather to join in going long distances. Of course, many stories are shared and relationships are strengthened. It can be a very affirming activity.

It is not uncommon to hear of residents meeting at local parks to enjoy their walking trail or try out the track at area high schools when our student track stars have ended evening practices and meets. Favorite spots for walking exist in several area county locations.

A family of geese with newborns cruise on a warm sunny morning while we hike along the river.

Primitives by Kathy offers some inspiring words you can consider while participating in a walking routine. “When you feel like quitting, think about why you started.” Another is “Life is not about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.” Still another is “Don’t stumble over something behind you.” And, finally, “Courage is taking those first steps to your dream even if you can’t see the path ahead.”

Whatever direction you decide to take in developing your individual walking program, understand that the benefits are many. Choosing a route around Elkins or another nearby location can be a wonderful way to see springtime flourish and pass minutes in the day. Do not miss this opportunity to welcome warmer temperatures, get in shape and enjoy our beautiful West Virginia outdoors.