Spring is a time of new beginnings. With the harsh wintry weather behind us and the dog days of summer still to come, we are presented with a perfect climate to begin a journey toward better health. I am here to help with that journey.

As a fitness professional at Brittany Pointe Estates retirement community in Lansdale, every day I have the opportunity to encourage many in their journey to improve fitness, all while having fun.

I have spent the past decade working on innovative methods and programs to bring people to their best fitness levels, not only physically, but also mentally and spiritually. I am now able to share my experiences and acquired knowledge with you. I hope that you will find my words informative and maybe even amusing. Relax and enjoy this "Spot of T."

Spring is perhaps the easiest time to begin a healthier regimen. The sky is blue, flowers are starting to bloom, the sunshine is pleasantly warming and your neighbors are beginning to emerge from their winter cocoons. With the amount of snow we had this past winter, it is quite possible that you have not laid eyes on these people since last November. Spring is a great time to reconnect with the outside world. It is an unspoken invitation to come out and play.

What better way to enjoy this new season than to take a walk. Walking is possibly the best form of exercise known to man. It can take place wherever you happen to be, requires no additional equipment and is free. There is no age limit on walking - all can participate. The pace is yours, as is the path. Start easy, and slowly work up to longer and more challenging walks.

Perhaps the best news of all is that walking has a laundry list of health benefits. By merely taking a 30-minute daily walk, you could reduce the risk of heart disease, osteoporosis, some types of cancer, and diabetes. You could also lower blood pressure, lose weight and improve mental well-being.

Best of all, it's a fun way to reconnect with friends and neighbors that, like you, were snowbound for the winter months. So grab a friend, relative, dog or child, and hit the pavement! Set up walking dates and try to keep them. Make sure to enjoy what nature has to offer along the way. The colors of spring are emerging all around us - take the time to appreciate them. Soon you may find yourself looking forward to your walks.

I highly recommend that you carry a cell phone with you in case of an emergency. However, I hope that you will opt to view the birds along your walking route rather than the Angry Birds on your smart phone screen. Read the text on the signs you walk past, rather than the text messages you may receive. Greet the people along the way or talk to your walking partner rather than chatting with your "BFF" who is calling for the fifth time for no real reason. Put down the electronic simulations and enjoy the real things.

If you have a pedometer, be sure to strap it on. In this way, you can challenge yourself each day to go a few steps more than the day before. There are about 2,000 steps in a mile (this will vary depending on the length of your steps). Keep track - see how far you go!

As the famed Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu once said, "A journey of 1,000 miles begins with a single step." I hope you'll take that step today.

Terry Alburger is the Fitness Director at Brittany Pointe Estates, an ACTS Retirement-Life Community in Lansdale.Email questions or thoughts to talburger@actslife.org.

Take Advantage of Spring