Whether it's hot and muggy or cold and snowy, Larry Smith puts his best foot forward.

Whether it's hot and muggy or cold and snowy, Larry Smith puts his best foot forward.

He wants others to do the same.

Smith, who recently moved to the Brewery District with his wife, Andrea Applegate, has formed the German Village Walking Club, which now meets at 8 a.m. Sundays in Schiller Park.

"I'm pumped up about walking because you can get a really good workout if you walk with a purpose," Smith said.

Walking "with a purpose" means aggressive constitutionals: moving your arms and legs, maybe occasionally incorporating other exercises, to get good aerobic exercise, he said.

"I don't think people understand really the health benefits you can achieve by having a walking program," he said.

Formerly an occasional runner, Smith said he was forced to give up jogging about 10 years ago because the impact exacerbated some of his chronic back pain.

But he still loved exercising outdoors. His physician recommended a low-impact training regimen, one that would get his heartrate up, but wouldn't cause him discomfort.

A walking enthusiast was born. He said he lost 18 pounds in the first four months of his newfound exercise regimen.

Smith, 57, said people often find comfort and camaraderie exercising with others, he said.

"By far the biggest component to me to be a success in exercising is finding a partner," he said.

Walkers of all levels are welcome, he said. The journeys aren't limited to Schiller. They expand to other parts of the downtown area. Smith also hopes to add days for walks, he said.

Smith is emphatic: Walkers are athletes. Many train for 5Ks, 10Ks, half and full marathons.

Beginners, though, are encouraged to seek out the proper attire, particularly in the winter.

"They key in the winter is layering and really good fitness clothing," he said.

"As the saying goes, there's not bad weather there's just bad clothing."

Smith said he sees the walking club as being more than just for fitness, it's a place where people can share tips about nutrition, training and other health-related topics and have fun.

"We're just starting out," he said. "So as the group gets together and grows we can make what we want out of it."

Those interested in joining can send emails to Smith at larrywalksfast@gmail.com.