Bike, Bus, Walk Week off to a good start

Maria Hoover, SBJ Features EditorMaria’s weight change: +1.2 pounds last week; -2 pounds total

Anybody who’s trying to shed weight knows (or should, anyway) that exercise is a key component. But sometimes, knowing the right thing is much easier than actually doing it, whether the issue at hand is weight loss or helping the environment.

This week is a good opportunity to combine efforts on both fronts. Today’s the first day of the 12th annual Bike, Bus Walk to Work Week, which runs through May 15. Ozarks Greenways is challenging local professionals to use alternative modes of transportation – walking, bicycling, public transit or carpooling – to get to work at least one day during the week.

Given that working in more exercise is an ongoing challenge for me, I decided that I’d make the most of this week.
This morning, Billie Marsala, Springfield Business Journal’s customer service specialist, and I left our Woodland Heights homes early and walked the roughly 2.5 miles to SBJ’s office. It took us a little longer than we expected – about 50 minutes – but the fresh air was wonderful. It was one of those spring mornings with just a little chill to it. I was glad; as a result, I didn’t sweat as much as I might if I try walking in summer’s heat. Aside from a little mud and some slippery moss on some of the brick sidewalks, it was really a nice way to start the day.

I was a little leery of crossing Chestnut Expressway on foot, but that didn’t faze Billie, who hails from Chicago and is used to being on foot in much heavier traffic! Even though I was pretty tired by the time we made it to the office, I felt pretty good about getting the exercise and participating in the weeklong challenge.

We have a southside breakfast event tomorrow, so carpooling is in order, but we’re going to try to walk at least one other day this week and make it a round-trip next time.
We probably won’t cut a whole lot of miles or save a lot of gas, but it’s still a great opportunity. I might even keep walking to work once a week after the challenge ends.
Are you participating in Bike, Bus, Walk to Work Week? Tell us how in the “responses” section below. And be sure to vote in our online poll at

Weekly update
Clearly, it’s time to try something new. I actually withdrew my Weight Watchers membership for the time being and am exploring my options for another structured plan. In the meantime, I’m on my own, armed with portion control, more water intake and a goal to incorporate more physical activity. While I haven’t  put on every pound that I lost, I’m getting awfully close. I know what I need to do; I just have to do it.

My goal this week is to get in five miles of walking. If I walk to work just once more, I’ll hit it.

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