Community Conversations

“With the 126th Boston Marathon coming up in April, this month for our Community Conversation section, we’re taking a look at the community’s favorite outdoor fitness activities! Founded on April 19th, 1897, the Boston Marathon is the oldest annual marathon event in the world.”


“With spring already presenting itself in the sunny skies and high temperatures we’ve been seeing, this time of the year is the best for running and hiking. For me, running is a great way to alleviate stress and get at least 60 minutes of exercise daily. Jogging about a mile or two almost everyday has amazing benefits, for me personally it helps me sleep better at night and get all that extra energy out. If running isn’t your preferred activity, walking the same amount is also extremely beneficial. Taking a trail is a great way to enjoy your walk too. One of the nicest trails that isn’t too difficult is the Whitehall State Park loop in Hopkinton. The natural sounds from the forest have such a calming effect and especially on sunny days the pond glistens creating scenic views. Getting outdoors and soaking up the sun is my preferred way of relaxing.”

~Anshika Shekhar, IAGB Youth Team Member

“I love to go to the gym to keep myself fit. Walking on the treadmill while listening to inspirational stories is really relaxing and gives me time to think about myself, and how I feel. A great place to work out is the NARA Park, the Nathaniel Allen Recreation Area, in Acton. The scenery is beautiful, and there are many good places to walk.”

~Pritha Anand, IAGB Youth Team Member


“Over the past few years, I have realized how physical and mental health are a closed feedback loop – one feeds off the other. And yet, fitness is a journey, a continuum and a mindset. Each of us are at a different stage on it but one thing in common is our ability to keep challenging ourselves to improve, to keep moving forward. Influenced by friends, I recently (3 years ago) started with long distance running. For me, training for marathons is a goal, a north star that keeps me disciplined through the year and to hold myself accountable – tying back to the goal of improving, one race at a time. Thanks to many regional clubs in the Boston/New England area, one can find folks with similar interests and we motivate/learn from each other. Whether it be running, walking, biking, swimming or any other favorite activity – “the hardest part is getting out – the rest just follows!”. Weather’s getting better, see you out there?”

~Makarand Joshi

“As we prep for the upcoming spring season, I love running on the minuteman trail. With so many people running, walking, biking on the trail, you start to feel a sense of community. Wherever you are, don’t forget to support your nearby trials.”

~Vijay Parthasarathy


“My favorite outdoor fitness activity is running. We humans are born to run and running is one of the most time efficient exercises available to us. Most of us are able to run sustainably as long as doing it right.
My favorite trail not just this time of the year, but year round is the Charles River Loop, also known as Paul Dudley Bike Path. The path offers loops from 2 to 17 miles. You will derive a lot of motivation running along with people of different shapes and speed. The path is also usable in the middle of New England winter!
Be fit and happy!”

~Ajit Sabnis


“Beautiful flower blooms and longer days are enough to encourage me to do outdoor activities in spring. Love the freshness and brightness outside!
I try to find time in a day to do a 40-50 mins walk outside. For me walking on nearby street walkways is the quickest option on weekdays. On weekends, I prefer going on trails. The Go-to trail for me is the Minuteman trail that connects Arlington-Lexington-Bedford. Oak Hill trail in Littleton is a good hiking trail with a small loop of 3.4 miles. Bigger hike like Mt. Monadnock is maybe once or twice a year for me.
Once in a while I am encouraged to get up early and walk on a nearby beach while watching beautiful sun-rise. Also, goes unsaid that walking and hiking with friends provides benefits of good mental health.”

~Tanuja Thikekar