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Steps to a More Enjoyable Winter Walk

Kermit in snowWalking is good exercise at any time of year. Berks County has just come out from some heavy snowfalls, the days are getting longer and a bit warmer, and the urge to get outside is getting stronger. Walking in winter can seem a bit less inviting, but there are steps you can take before stepping outside to enjoy the Reading-Area countryside.


Believe it or not, walking in cold weather burns more calories when you walk into the wind or trudge through the snow because of the extra effort involved. The cold air is invigorating and can ease your mind and reduce stress.


Staying motivated is difficult when the fuzzy blankets are calling, but the effects are worth the effort. Here is a cute way to regulate your pace for maximum effect: use the “sing-talk test” to figure out if you’re stepping at a nice moderate pace. “A person should walk at a pace fast enough so they are too winded to sing, but not so fast they cannot talk,” says Robert Sallis, M.D., co-director of the sports medicine fellowship at Kaiser Permanente in Fontana, CA, and a clinical professor of family medicine at UC Riverside School of Medicine.

Skipping the obvious tips about dressing and eating, let’s look at some motivational tips for cold-weather walking.


Listen. Take in the winter sounds of crunching footsteps or tinkling icy branches. Keep your ears peeled for birdsongs (Yes, some birds hang around in the winter.). Or listen to music or a podcast to take your mind off the cold.


Find an accountability partner or a friend or group to walk with. Catch up with an old friend or join a walking club. Make definite walking dates and stick to them. Yes, it’s OK to call someone while you’re walking if you can’t meet in person (But don’t run out of breath!).


Set goals you can easily reach and break. Give yourself 5 minutes to walk. Once you get the momentum, you’ll want to keep going.


Think about some things to think about before you walk. Sitting around all winter can dull the mind — Your brain needs exercise, too! Walking can stimulate creativity and inspiration.


Finally, think about how nice it will be to get back into your nice, warm home. That will speed up your pace!


The Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ created Sacred Heart Villa (formerly St. Michael Convent) in 2003 with the vision of providing a personal care home for the Sisters and other seniors of southeastern Pennsylvania. The Sisters renovated St. Michael in order to create 35 personal care residential rooms. Sacred Heart Villa officially opened her doors to her first new residents in May 2004, with space for 57 Sisters and 40 other senior residents.


The facility has two residential buildings, a remodeled dining room, a new fireside lounge, library, café, and beauty shop. The chapel remains in the middle of the facility for it truly is the Heart of the community. Each new residential room provides an individual with privacy, safety, and security in an environment of beauty and grace. Mass is celebrated each day and is open to the public.


Sacred Heart Villa is now accepting residents. If you are seeking care for yourself or a loved one, contact Sacred Heart Villa today at 610-929-5751 for a tour. You can also visit us at