28 days to health: looking back on the Walkabout Challenge

How time flies! I cannot believe it has been 28 days since the Orthaheel & Weil Integrative Footwear Walkabout Challenge began. I'm happy and proud to have met the challenge: with some upbeat music streaming through my earphones and my new Balance Lace-up Walkers cradling my feet, I managed to walk every day, for 30 minutes or more, on all 28 days. Yes!

Sticking to that daily walk has not been easy, but the benefits made it sooo worth the effort. Last week I came up with 28 benefits I've enjoyed as a result of joining the Walkabout Challenge and walking every day -- but on this last day of the Challenge, I wanted to add two more:

1) Every time I walked, I got to discover new and beautiful things along the way -- flowers, trees, stones, sky. These are things I usually take for granted, things I don't usually take the time to notice and appreciate. I made it a point to take a photo on almost all of my 28 walks, and I've ended up with a really lovely set of photographs. Here are some of my favorites:

A majestic redwood

The blue, blue sky

Tulips (my favorite flower) in full bloom!

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The Stanford University campus

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A cool tree.

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An even cooler bike.

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Active seniors -- such an inspiration!

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Beautiful cherry blossoms

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My gorgeous occasional walking partner.

2) Every time I participate in a blogging program, I end up discovering a of kickass bloggers, and the Walkabout Challenge was no exception. It has been a privilege and a pleasure to share the joys of the last 28 days with the other Walkabout Ambassadors (there are 50 of us!). We've walked on trails and on sidewalks, at the park and on the beach. We've walked in the snow and in the rain, in the sun and in the shade. We've walked with girlfriends and boyfriends and husbands and children and dogs and all by ourselves. From their tweets and their blog posts, I've been able to walk with them and share their stories of inspiration and success. I love expanding my circle of friends on the interwebz, and I can't have found a nicer group of people!

After I finish today's walk, the Walkabout Challenge will be over -- but I don't intend to stop walking. Heck, no! I've got the Bay to Breakers footrace coming up, so I need to walk (and run) more than ever. This summer we'll be walking all over England, Wales and Belgium. Looking ahead to the long term, I'm determined to start my 40's fitter and healthier than I started my 30's, and walking is going to play a big part in that. I may not end up walking every single day, but I definitely want to walk more often than I did before starting the Walkabout Challenge. Thanks, Orthaheel and Weil Integrative Footwear, for getting started on the path to a healthier lifestyle!

Disclosure: As an ambassador for the 28-day Walkabout Challenge for Orthaheel USA and Weil Integrative Footwear, I received a package containing a pair of Dr. Weil footwear and other promotional items. I will not be receiving any other form of compensation for my participation. The views and opinions expressed here are my own.

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