Now that the New Year is almost here and the temperatures are finally cooling down, it’s a great time to get outdoors and start walking.

Before starting any exercise program you should check with your physician.

Walking is one of the easiest and least expensive ways to stay fit. You just need to find a nice place to go walking, some good sneakers and a little motivation.

Probably the most important decision you will need to make is investing in good shoes. You don’t want them to cause blisters or calluses. When trying on shoes, wear the socks you would wear when you will be walking, and don’t be alarmed if you take a larger size. Stick with heels that are no higher than ¾” to prevent knee and back problems.

If your neighborhood doesn’t have sidewalks, perhaps a park or even the mall is a good place to walk. The mall offers consistent temperatures, in most malls the air is filtered, which is good for allergies, and a smooth, even walking surface that’s well lit and well populated.

If that’s not enough incentive, get a dog. You and Fido will both benefit!