Being active is the secret to staying healthy, and walking is one of the easiest and least expensive ways to get moving.
Here are some ways to add more walking to your daily life.
With family and friends:
- Take walks with a coworker at lunchtime.
- Make a standing walking date with a friend.
- Put a walk on the family schedule after dinner.
- Start or join a walking or hiking group.
- If you take a bus to work, get off a few stops early and walk.
- See whether you can do any of your errands by just walking or by walking and taking public transportation.
- If you drive, think about parking farther away from your destination.
Interested in Starting a Walking Group?
It’s a great way to get exercise into your day and build stronger relationships with family, neighbors or co-workers.
Simply walking 30 minutes every day can have a great impact on health. Frequent, brisk walks can boost your brain power, make you more productive and lower health care costs by reducing a wide range of health risks.
By planning out walks and encouraging each other, a walking group can have a huge impact on everyone involved. Here are steps to help you get started!
Step 1: IDENTIFY A LOCAL PARTNER
Call community-based organizations near you to see if they would be interested in joining forces to help you start a walking group. These groups are already doing good work in your community and might have additional ideas and resources for you.
Step 2: "CALLING ALL WALKERS"
Promote your group to family, friends, co-workers, and neighbors. Try posting fliers at your local YMCA, library, senior center, city hall, health club or place of worship. A good group can provide support and help keep everyone on track.
Step 3: KICK IT OFF
A kick-off meeting is a great way to get the group together so everyone can meet. You can have the meeting at your house or at a public place, like a local park, library or coffee shop. At the kick off, make a plan. Decide when and where your group will meet, how many days a week and how long you will walk, then pick a start date! You should also set up a system to contact one another, maybe a phone tree or an e-mail list, so that you can all stay informed and in touch.
Step 4: SET GOALS
Encourage members to set goals for themselves and for the team. Maybe suggest increasing the amount of time you walk each week or changing routes to include more difficult terrain.
Step 5: START WALKING
It’s as simple as that. But be sure you remind your team members by phone or e-mail the night before your first walk. And you may also want to remind people to dress for the weather, wear good walking shoes and bring water.
Step 6: CELEBRATE YOUR SUCCESS!
When your team meets its goals, celebrate by doing something special. This can be as simple as grabbing a cup of coffee after a morning walk or something a bit bigger like hosting a pot luck dinner. Be sure to thank your team members for participating and encourage them to bring a friend next time.
Tools for Success