Benefits of Walking
- more energy
- look better
- feel relaxed
- lose weight
- relieve stress
- and more…
Benefits of Walking
- Walking relieves stress. There are few people of any age who do not experience some level of disruption in their daily lives. Taking a walk to get the heart pumping harder and the limbs moving. The more physically active people are, the better they feel. Research has proven that exercise can be a dynamic stress reliever.
- Walking assists in managing a healthy weight. Regular walking will assist everyone in managing a more healthy weight.
- Walking allows for community-wide participation. Walking is for everyone. People of different ages and fitness levels can do it together.
- Walking enhances overall mental and physical health. People who walk report feeling more in control, more alert and more positive. People who walk seem to embrace the possibilities of other sorts of health enhancements. In many ways, walking is one small step toward better health.
- Walking can be done any time of day. Because the possibilities for walking venues abound, walking can fit your schedule. Have 10 minutes? Take a walk.
- Walking is fun. Because of the non-competitive nature of an afternoon or evening walk, people can enjoy themselves and each other. Many people speed up or slow down, depending on how they feel on a given day or on whom they are walking with.
Isn’t it time you started walking?
Start Walking - Getting Started
- How far and how fast you walk is not an issue in the beginning.
- Walk 10+ minutes on 5+ days a week.
- Walk briskly, and with a purpose.
- Work your way up to 30+ minutes on 5+ days a week.
- Fitness level does not matter. Simply get off the couch.
- Walking can be done with one piece of equipment – good walking shoes.
- Begin with the end in mind. Good health and happiness will result from placing one foot in front of the other on a regular basis.
- Enlist support. Enlisting support has been shown to drastically increase your chances of success. Talk about the fact that you’re walking. Others will ask how it’s going, which keeps you motivated.
- Walking can be done in groups or alone. You can decide on a daily basis which one suits you.
- Don’t let the weather stop you from walking. Explore and find your favorite walking routes for both sunny and rainy weather.
- Walking can be done to music, to nature, or to conversation. Your mood can help you determine what is enjoyable on a given day.
- Sign up for a walking event like a 5k, 10k walk, or the Honolulu Marathon. Just remember you don’t need to walk an entire marathon to be healthy.
- Join a walking club. Commit to at least one group workout a week.
- Plan a walking or hiking vacation (and get in shape for it).
- Make walking a part of your routine. Walk to work, walk during breaks, take the stairs, walk the kids to school, etc. There are so many opportunities to include small 10+ minute walks into daily routine.
Start Walking - Walking Locations
- HAWAII ISLAND (Big Island)
Start Walking - 30+ Ways to Get 30+ Minutes
- Begin with just ten minutes. Increase to 20 and then to 30 minutes as you feel comfortable and motivated.
- Walk to work, school, the store, or church.
- Call a friend to walk with you. When you set up an appointment, you are more likely to follow through.
- Walk in your neighborhood. Discover what has always been there.
- Park the car farther away from your destination. Remember that you will feel better for doing 30 minutes daily … guaranteed!
- Get on or off the bus several blocks away.
- Walk in the swimming pool or at the beach. It is easier on the joints.
- Walk the dog. Look at Rover as a walking machine with hair.
- Walk 10 minutes three times per day. Walk the dog in the morning, take 10 before or after lunch, and walk around the block a few times before you get back into your car at the end of the day.
- Walking around your local mall or shopping center.
- Walk with your friends after your weekly worship service.
- Walk the kids to school once each week.
- Take a walking break, instead of a coffee break.
- Cut your grass with a mower that you push or follow.
- “Run your errands” – walk or run instead of drive when taking short trips to the drug store, restaurant, or visiting a neighbor.
- Instead of meeting a friend for coffee, meet for a walk. You will be surprised at how much ground you can cover.
- Walk on the treadmill while watching TV or making phone calls.
- Take the bus. People who use mass transit walk about 70 minutes more per week.
- Take a 10 minute walk at lunch.
- Set up a walking school bus. Pick up kids in the neighborhood as you walk to school.
- Give up your expensive parking pass at work. Car pool or take the bus.
- Slip on a hat, and slop on some sunscreen and head for the beach. Walking on the sand provides extra resistance and you will get a better workout.
- Walking will reduce stress, anxiety, and depression. You will feel better.
- Take your kids for a walk. Making walking a fun activity the whole family can enjoy.
- Schedule a walk and talk. Moving meetings are a great substitute for sitting in a conference room.
- Set up a walking group in your neighborhood that weekly at a set time in the morning or evening. Sometimes its easier to be faithful to your friends.
- Benefit a good cause by doing a charity walk.
- Do a walking meditation. Stay mindful of your body as you walk at a different pace.
- Commit to using walking to lose weight. 60-90 minutes daily will lead to weight loss.
- Walk around the athletic field while your kids are at little league or soccer practice.
- Remember, walking will make you look and feel better. Walking actually gives you energy. Notice how much better you feel at the end of 10 minutes. The first few steps may be the hardest.
*As adapted from Promoting Physical Activity, a guide for community action. USDHHS
Ideas for Walking
People walk and make friends and get healthy. Here are ways to make active living part of your life!
Start Walking - Worksite Programs
Worksite wellness benefits both the individual and the organization. Check out the Worksite Wellness Toolkit developed and discover what steps you can take to promote healthy lifestyle behaviors at work.
Quick Office Exercises
Try these exercises that you can do in the office. See what other ways you can squeeze a work out into your work day.
Start Walking - Faith Based Programs
Talk to Your Church Leaders
Consult with your church leaders about starting a walking program at the church. If your church has a health committee, enlist their help to determine the walking program format that will work best for your church.
- Find a walking route.
- Establish meeting times when people can meet and walk. Consider offering different times to accommodate different work and life schedules.
- Invite parishioners from neighboring churches to join you. Consider setting special walking times for specific audiences, e.g. seniors, youth, parents.
- Think about how will you walk. Will you track your miles on log sheets? Will you make it a competition or make it a spiritual journey by adding scripture readings?
Get Members Involved
There are a number of activities that can be conducted by faith-based organizations to promote your walking program. There are six activities described below.
Bulletin Inserts. Many organizations have a weekly bulletin that is distributed to each person attending the service. An effective way to reach the group is with a message in the bulletin. The organization may create their own insert using the campaign message, or use a flyer or insert created by the campaign staff.
Church Newsletter. An article about the campaign or a Calendar of Events can also be included in the church newsletter.
Walking-Related Sermons or Announcements. Ask faith-based leaders to incorporate a health message into a sermon. A sermon combining a spiritual and physical health message can be an effective way to motivate participants. For example: A pastor could present a sermon on “Walking with Jesus”. This message can be very effective and can inspire the congregation to participate in a prayer walk.
Speakers. A guest speaker is another effective way to inform the congregation. Arrange for a speaker, from the campaign’s Speakers Bureau, to talk with a youth group, women’s group, or prayer group.
Testimonials. Many faith-based organizations have a tradition of personal testimonials from members. This is an especially effective way of encouraging others to make positive changes in their own lives. Encourage members of the congregation who walk regularly and have benefited from walking to share their experiences.
Sign-up Drive. On a designated Sunday, all participating churches tried to recruit walkers to the campaign. One person within the church was designated to gather registration information and forward it to campaign staff.
Start Walking - Community Programs
Ideas for Setting Up Walking Programs in Your Community
Neighborhood Walks. One of the best places to walk is in the neighborhoods where we live. Think about setting up a walking group that meets weekly at the same time of day to walk at a local park or in your neighborhood. Begin walking every week with a friend or two on Tuesdays at 5:30 pm, for example. Get the word out. Place flyers in the neighborhood. Be punctual. At 5:30, leave the designated are and head out for 15 minutes. Turn around and return. Take a minute or two to stretch the legs and call it a day! Everyone has their 30 minutes for the day and at their own pace.
Schools are a great place to walk. Many of them have tracks around the athletic fields. These tracks are usually well light, and provide a safe level surface for walking. School buildings are good places to walk during the rainy season and when it gets dark early. Check with the school principals (and the parent teacher organizations) about whether this might be possible to use the schools for indoor walking.
Work. Of course, we spend as much time at work as in any other aspect of our lives, except sleep (in fact, some folks work far more each week than they sleep!). Start a worksite wellness walking program. Get it done at work. The longer in the day that you wait to exercise, the less likely you will be to do it. You may also want to park your car 10 minutes away from your worksite. That will give you 20 minutes simply going to and returning to your car. Catch a 10-minute walk break instead of a coffee break, and you have your 30 minutes daily. Taking the bus to work will probably give at least an extra 10 to 20 minute walk.