If you're not a natural fitness fanatic, it can be hard finding inspiration to work out five days a week, so I'm always looking for ways to make it fun. For instance, two of my siblings are joining me every Sunday in tackling a different segment of the Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath. The length between most trailheads range from 1 to 2 miles. Our goal is to eventually have walked (or in my case, walk/run) the entire towpath from Cleveland to Zoar, one or two segments at a time. (Actually, since we have to double back to return to our car, we'll have traveled it twice!) Find a mileage map of the canalway here: https://www.nps.gov/cuva/planyourvisit/upload/07-2012-sis_8-5x11_map-pdf_3_final.pdf

Here's something else you can do with family and friends to fill some of those walk or cross-training days: The Summit County Metro Parks Spree for All. All you do is hike five different trails from a designated list between May 1 and June 30. Fill out a form saying where and when you hiked and you'll collect the annual pin and a neck lanyard if itís your first time, or the annual pin if youíre a Spree for All veteran. (See photo below.)

The trails are pretty easy so that families can take along strollers, wheelchairs and walkers. But you can make them part of your training by speedwalking them (or even running them if you want to do it for one of your run days.)

The program is free to Summit County residents. Those who live outside Summit can participate for free, but to collect the reward, youíll have to pay $10 for first-year hikers and $5 for veteran hikers. To learn more, visit http://spreeforall.summitmetroparks.org where you can download an application. You can also pick up forms at Acme Fresh Market stores.

If you donít live in Summit County, check out the list of activities in your home countyís park district. You might be able to take advantage of naturalist walks or invigorating hikes or other events that will keep you moving. For instance, I quickly peeked in on the Stark County Park Districtís page (https://starkparks.com) and noticed they've got a 6.5 mile guided hike coming up Thursday. That sounds like a decent day's workout! Check out the rest of their calendar for things that might be appropriate for a walk or cross-training day (like bikes you can rent if you have a library card!)

The lesson is, fitness doesnít have to be drudgery. Look for creative ways to incorporate it into your life and let's have fun and make memories on our journey through the Akron Marathon Race Series.

- Paula