Walking Gives You a Brand New Gym

I’d still be wandering around the streets of Venice if it wasn’t for that little arrow on my iPhone. I was part of a 10-day tour to Italy hosted by my radio station. Because Ava wasn’t with me on this, I elected to leave after seven days.

Ava and I had been to Italy together about ten years earlier and we saw a lot, but not Venice. This tour included a full day in Venice, but sadly it was the day I would be flying home.

The tour group arrived at our hotel, which was about 30 minutes outside Venice, late in the afternoon. The group would spend the evening relaxing before their tour of the island the next day. That meant, there was free time allowing me to go to Venice alone that night.

I talked to the tour director who told me how to take the light rail from our hotel on to Venice. She also told me when I had to be on the train to get back to the hotel before they shut down for the evening.

What followed were several of the most memorable hours I’ve ever enjoyed. I arrived in Venice as the sun was setting.

My goal was to walk to the iconic St. Mark’s Square and then get back to the Light Rail before the last train left the island.

The streets of Venice were magical.


I walked along the Grand Canal.


Finally, I made it to St. Mark’s and soaked it all in.


One of the things I love about walking is how it integrates fitness into life. In fact, that memorable night in Venice would not have happened without this integration.

Because I’ve pushed myself for years to move more and sit less, my fitness level is pretty good. The prospect of walking at a brisk pace for two or three hours so I can see as much of Venice as possible within a tight time window was not intimidating. In fact, it was a challenge I liked.

And, because I intentionally look for opportunities to walk I’ve become accustomed to exploring new areas on foot. So, walking through Venice alone was a super-sized challenge that I couldn’t resist.

Life is richer when you walk for fitness because the world is your gym. Life can also get a bit interesting too.

At one point in Venice I got lost. It’s a very confusing city to navigate and I found myself alone in what looked like a back street.

IMG_8014It was a little uncomfortable, but I pulled out my iPhone and clicked on the Map app. The blue dot showed me where I was and the little direction arrow helped me find my way quickly.


If you don’t have a daily step goal, I want to challenge you to give it a try. Not only will it improve your mood, it will also help you create a fitness habit. I call it The 30 Day Fitness Challenge. This free guide will walk you through how to get started. It’s very easy.

If you don’t have a Fitbit I recommend the Fitbit Inspire HR. This is the Fitbit I use to track my 20,000 steps a day. The Inspire HR also tracks your heart rate and sleep so you get an even wider picture of your fitness progress.


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This blog is designed to help you embrace walking as a fitness activity. It’s sustainable, flexible, effective, and fun. Every week I post new articles with stories and helpful suggestions to Win at Fitness.

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    • Doretta! That was such a fun trip. Loved meeting you and your family. Sorry I didn’t get to enjoy the full day of Venice with the group, but I wasn’t going home without, at least, a brief glimpse.

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