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Another extreme winter day in Chicago.

The windchill is below zero, yesterday’s snowfall blitzed us with 4 more inches of snow and the sun is hidden somewhere under a big gray blanket of clouds.

Once again, I need an alternative plan.

Today I’m considering a walk at an indoor track.

Next to my neighborhood is the suburb of Niles, about 10 minutes away. At the Golf view Recreation Center, the indoor track is free to anyone from anywhere and available for walking/jogging anytime. A person cannot get a better deal than that.

The fitness center’s track  overlooks an outdoor golf course, and there are large windows on one side of the lanes giving a scenic and picturesque view of trees, paths and bridges. It’s kind of fun for me to be warm and sweaty, dressed in shorts and a tee shirt, able to look out on a frozen, blustery winter scenario. On the inside, the 3 lane track is on the second floor above a gym, and 11 laps constitute a mile. The classes and activities in the gym can be a nice distraction from the continuous circling of laps.

Another perk for indoor walking is not having to wear all of the bulky clothes, gloves, hats, scarves, etc. that seem to add an extra 5 lbs. to the walk. I can pay attention to different components of my body when it’s not buried under a ton of clothes, such as my posture, my gait or focus on my core.

If I’m by myself, I use a playlist on my iPhone, and divide the music into different tempos. In the beginning of the walk I choose music that gets me warmed up with an easy beat; for the middle of the walk I load music with a faster pulse – maybe some pop; towards the end, I need a fast beat with some motivational lyrics to help me finish.

On occasion, a quick phone call gets me a friend. As always, conversation makes the time and the miles fly by.

Sometimes an indoor track is just the thing – especially a free one!

Golf viewtrackscenic viewbridge

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