#WellnessWeds: Start a Walking RoutinePosted May 2nd, 2012 by Claire Moshenberg
“I feel like I’ve been in the eye of a perfect storm of messages about the need to walk,” says Anita Jackson, Social Media Director at MomsRising. “From articles detailing how my sedentary lifestyle is killing me to a hilarious Funny or Die video featuring the West Wing cast walking and talking about walking, everywhere I turn I’ve heard it: Walking is the way of the future. Really!”
Anita’s insight is spot on! West Wing fans have been spreading this Funny or Die reunion video like wildfire this week, and among my coworkers, it’s inspiring a mini-walking revolution. Anita was inspired to take a walk today, she inspired me to take a walk, and now we want to inspire you to incorporate walking into your fitness routine, if you can.
Why walking? According to the American Heart Association, exercising for as little as 30 minutes a day can reduce your risk for heart disease. They’ve set up a whole website dedicated to encouraging you to incorporate 30 minutes of walking into your day. Everybody Walk, a new campaign to promote walking, says that walking will improve your overall health by reducing your risk for cancer, depression, and other diseases. Research shows that regular exercise can “improve your mood, decrease anxiety, and improve sleep.”
It’s easy! Take a few simple proactive steps to create a basic walking plan.
- Find 30 minutes: I know, this can seem impossible. But the examples in the video are true: You can find a 30 minute block of time, or three 10 minute blocks of time, or 10 three minute blocks of time, whatever works for your schedule.
- Find new routes: Everybodywalks.org has a new app that helps you find walking paths and track paths you’ve already taken. The American Heart Association also has a guide to help you identify new walking paths in your neighborhood.
- Find a walking buddy: You can use your walk as a time to socialize with friends, family, and neighbors, or you could make new friends through a local walking group! Everybodywalks.org has information to help you find walking groups, while the American Heart Association has a tool to help you locate walking groups in your area or set up a group of your own. You can also find walking groups on Meetup.com or through local mom message boards.
- Don’t be too hard on yourself: Not sure you have time for a 3o minute walk today? That’s okay! Start with 10 minutes. Pay attention to times in your day when you might be able to fit in a walk. Try your best, and don’t be too hard on yourself. Just walking a couple minutes is a step in the right direction (pun very much intended)!