Walking is one of the easiest and most affordable and accessible ways for anyone to get at least 30 minutes of physical exercise every day. Walking has many health benefits which include weight loss, lowering blood pressure, more energy and a feeling of accomplishment. Walking reduces the risks for chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer or diabetes.
Please review the walk scores of your community at the web site walkscores.com to see how your community scores. Carroll has a walk score of 83, very walkable so most errands can be accomplished on foot, Manning 42, car dependent, Coon Rapids 50, somewhat walkable and Glidden at 33 is considered car dependent also to do most errands.
Walking to stores, schools or work promotes healthy habits and encourages all to get out and walk. Consider walking your children to school.
Take a look at your own neighborhood, do you have good sidewalks or trails nearby? If so walking is accessible and you probably see others out walking also! If improvements are needed consider trying to improve your neighborhood. Do you feel safe walking? Do you need to walk on the street? It benefits the entire county to have walkable communities.
According to the City of Carroll comprehensive plan, in 2009 Carroll County means of transportation to work was driving alone 79.8% and walked was 4.3%. Wouldn’t it be great if these statistics could change by increasing the walking and reducing the driving! Biking is another great alternative.
The Surgeon General has a call to action to promote walking and walkable communities. There are five goals to promote this, make walking a national priority, design communities that make it safe and easy for people of all ages and abilities, promote programs and policies to support walking where people live, learn, work and play, provide information to encourage walking and improve walkability and fill surveillance, research and evaluation gaps related to walking and walkability.
We have great trails and sidewalks in the area and I encourage you to get started walking every day. Walk to wellness and live healthy Carroll County!
Author: Marcia Schaefer RN at Carroll County Public Health