Walking in the Dome it's free, it's sheltered from the elements, it has the slightest hint of good old gym aroma so you feel you are in the right place for a little exercise.
And it doesn't matter how you walk or, for you show-offs, how you run. On the one-seventh mile cushioned carpet oval on the top level there is a green lane for walkers and a red lane for runners.
Some runners really run, although none has ever run circles around us plodders and then run backwards ahead of us and taunted us. No. They are good sports. Not even any Road Runner beep-beeps as they zoom by.
You feel at home doing your thing, even if that thing might look strange outdoors on the sidewalk or street. For example, I have an isometric upper body exercise I sometimes do while walking.
Outdoors I usually stop this motion when I meet someone. It's not the more common one of rapid exaggerated arm movements with elbows ridiculously extended. Of course those using this method may find my method equally ridiculous.
I hold one fist over the other and press them together for three steps, then straighten my arms and let them swing behind me, bring them back in front, reverse my hands with the other on top and press again. And so on. I've never seen this on video, but it does feel a bit silly.
For even more exercise while walking one could try a silly walk from the 1970s British TV Monty Python show although someone my age trying this would undoubtedly throw out a joint or two.
For those who are unfamiliar with this comedy bit, just Google "Minister of Silly Walks" for a short video. Be sure to click off the words on the bottom part of the screen to better see the leg movement.
In the Dome, some really work out, like the apparent Beaver football lineman. Out of a four-point stance he leaped and lunged ahead like a giant bullfrog, landing on his feet and gathering himself together for another lunge.
I was glad I wasn't a quarterback. He took care, though, not to do this when anyone was nearby.
Some persons warm up or cool down with various extreme almost contortionist stretches and twists moves that if attempted by one of us brittle oldsters might snap off a limb.
One young woman read a textbook while walking. Earphones are common, cell phones a little less common.
Occasionally there are two runners really moving in opposite directions. They meet fairly often.
I thought of particle super colliders, where physicists send two beams of subatomic particles in opposite directions around underground circular tunnels up to 18 miles in circumference, getting them up to near the speed of light.
They then guide them to intersect, collide and explode in a simulation of the big bang that formed our universe. They are trying to re-create a particle that is believed to be the basis of all matter today.
I wondered what a collision of runners might produce after the explosion and the dust settled perhaps tiny little runners in logoed sweats and really tiny running shoes going around and around in tight little circles.
So OK, maybe I was on a walker's high when that image came to me. If so, it was harmless and free.
It involved no illegal substance the purchase of which might support drug lords or enemy terrorists. But that's a topic illegal drug use for another column.
(James Lein is one of four community columnists for The Minot Daily?News)