A recent installment of “60 Seconds to Better Health” with Fred Bodimer on St. Louis radio station KMOX was devoted to walking. Or to be specific, how even a little walking actually does a body good.

I am not a workout animal.

I lift free weights in my basement two to three times a week. Not so much that I will ever be mistaken for a body builder or an Olympic weightlifting gold medalist.

I also invest time pedaling for a few miles on the stationary bike I was given years ago. Unlike my son, Caleb, who is what I consider an avid cyclist – he once rode his bike from just outside of Peoria, Ill., to Hannibal over just a two-day period – I have never been chased by large, razor-toothed canine, had to contend with a stiff head wind, or had to worry about distracted drivers while pedaling away in my basement.

Probably the biggest bit of exercise I do for myself is walk.

A recent installment of “60 Seconds to Better Health” with Fred Bodimer on St. Louis radio station KMOX was devoted to walking. Or to be specific, how even a little walking actually does a body good.

Because I was driving a car at the time and couldn't write down the specifics, I decided to commit the facts cited by Bodimer to memory instead, which was a big mistake on my part. Suffice to say, a recent study had determined some crazy, low amount of time spent walking at even a leisurely pace paid dividends.

While searching the Internet I found sites touting the benefits of intense walking for 30 minutes, 20 minutes and even 15 minutes a day, but what caught my eye was an article in Scientific American. It offered that a study found that “light-intensity activities,” such as walking casually for as little as 2 minutes per hour, received health benefits. Study participants who casually walked for a total of 30 minutes a day, reduced their risk of dying over a three-year period by 33 percent.

I am certainly not nagging anyone to, in the words of the Hannibal Parks and Recreation Department to “get up and get active.” However, it does make me feel good about what I am doing walking-wise, considering I log a mile or more at a brisk pace on most days.

While I don't lack the motivation to get off my tail and go walking, it's taking the opportunity to do so without putting myself at significant risk which is my biggest challenge, especially at this time of year after the loss of an hour of sunlight due to the end of Daylight Savings Time.

Rather than drive somewhere to walk, like Porter Stadium at Hannibal High School, I usually pursue various walking routes in central Hannibal. Portions of my jaunts are spent walking in the street because there is no sidewalk. While a calculated risk during the day, the odds against me having an incident-free walk go up when I'm walking my normal routes after the sun sets, even though I'm wearing a reflective vest and blinking red light, plus carrying a flashlight.

Where to go to get in a safe, post-workday walk? To find the answer to that question I literally had to look no further than outside the doors of the Courier-Post.

As I picked up my wife, Nancy, from work at a North Main shop, I was struck by how well the downtown area is illuminated at night. That, plus the relatively new sidewalk, presents an almost ideal post-sundown walking area.

I determined that one loop of Third Street, to North Street, to North Main Street, and back to where I began on Third Street is 0.7 of a mile, meaning two laps puts me at almost a mile and a half, three laps over two miles and … Well, you can do the math.

For some people going around in circles is frustrating. For this walker, I can't think of anything better.

The views expressed in this column are not necessarily those of the Courier-Post.