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When is a walk through Central Park a substitute for physical training?

Yesterday, New York looked too beautiful for me to stay indoors. I decided to forgo my usual cardio hiking on the treadmill and go for a walk in Central Park. With 60th Street and 5th Avenue as my starting point, up to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, around the Jackie Onassis Reservoir and back down to 60th Street, I logged 4.6 miles in exactly 80 minutes on a moderately fast walking pace (and with a few traffic light interruptions).

While I did not feel like going to the gym, I really wanted to exercise. Have you heard that old adage, “if you stick with your work out schedule and go to the gym for 21 consecutive days, it actually becomes a habit?” This does not mean that one should stick to the exact same routine perpetually. The constant and repetitive exercise could be harmful to your body and a downer on your mood.

            Psychologists claim that it is easier to form a habit when the task is simple and does not require any thought. When the training routine is spelled out for you and the place for training has already been determined, it is easier to begin working out. This is the idea behind our organization. We want to help young people as they are forming their healthy habits in physical training and provide them with the tools to do it. The tools are a training program and a location (the gym).  The idea is that this type of training (in the broader sense of the word) will also teach them about discipline and diligence, two skills that are transferrable to school and other life commitments. Exercise teaches us the discipline necessary to tackle all types of problems. Discipline is what turns a walk through Central Park into a vigorous form of exercise.

Post by Thomai Serdari (We welcome guest posts. Email us at: