Updates

Make Walking Part of Your Daily Routine

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There are days when just the thought of leaving the house seems like a huge effort. Days when you don't feel like getting off the couch, never mind going to the gym. But guess what--if you got out of bed this morning, you jump-started your fitness routine just by walking down the hall to the bathroom.

Add a little pep to your stride for an activity that feels less like exercise and more like living a normal life--but with the added benefits that exercise provides.

Make walking part of your everyday routine

Mark Fenton, a health and fitness consultant and author who's written extensively about the benefits of walking, was a member of the U.S. national race walking team from 1986 to 1991. Now he works as a consultant to help communities implement safe routes for walking and bicycling.

"Make walking a part of your normal routine and you'll have a much easier time keeping it up," Fenton says. "Set aside time at a specific time of day to walk, or go about your daily tasks on foot. Walk your dog; pick up your mail on foot. If you can routinize it, you're more likely to keep doing it."

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Couch Culture: Only a Quarter of U.S. Youth Get Recommended Exercise

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It’s no surprise that kids don’t exercise, but the first national survey documented exactly how inactive American children are.

In 2008, the U.S. government issued its first guidelines for physical activity, based on studies indicating which exercises people should try and how long they should be active in order to improve their health. The recommendations included daily physical activity of moderate to vigorous intensity for 60 minutes for children. But in the latest analysis of how well the advice is being followed, the National Center for Health Statistics found that only about 24.8% of youth surveyed in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES)’s National Youth Fitness Survey got the recommended amount.

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Training Your Brain for Creativity

Natural environment stimulates the mind

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Half my book was written while either running or cycling.

I do not have a fancy treadmill desk that morphs into a cycling desk. I have a comfy chair that I'm sitting in as I type this column, but it doesn't change the fact that large portions of this article were written in my head while running outside in cold and snowy temperatures. When the snow melts, I will do more writing while sailing along the highway on my carbon-fiber road bike.

I'm not the only one who gets creative while exercising outdoors. Last year I spoke with singer Sarah McLachlan, an avid runner, who told me she likes to write lyrics in her head while being bipedal in the wilderness.

I love her music, so there must be something to this idea that exercising outside enhances creativity.

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Walk The Talk

Experts
Our trusted experts explore ways and offer tips to incorporate walking into your daily life.
Community
Groups across America, of all ages and abilities, are finding a new sense of community by walking.
Health
Just 30 minutes of walking, five times a week, is enough to improve your overall health.
Inspiration
Walking is also good for mind and soul, sparking your creativity and inspiration.