If you want to add physical activity to your day, walking is a great way to get moving. Your local parks offer some of the best places to take a walk. Not only can get active, you can enjoy the benefits of being outdoors too.
The National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) assists local parks by providing tools to promote walking and walkable communities through our Safe Routes to Parks initiative and walking programs. These ongoing efforts support the Surgeon General’s Call to Action on Walking and Walkable Communities: Step it Up!
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How to Start Your Walking Routine
For most of us, walking is not new. What’s great about walking is it’s one of the easiest forms of physical activity. Walking at least 30 minutes a day helps to lower our risk of heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and some types of cancer. It can also help keep your muscles and bones strong, fight off sickness, maintain or lose weight, and reduce joint pain.
Check out this infographic for more reasons why you should take a walk in your community park each day!
Promote Walking in your Community
Here are 5 steps you can take to make your community more walkable:
- Become an advocate in your town. The “Resident’s Guide for Creating Safer Communities for Walking and Biking” developed by the US Department of Transportation outlines steps for joining the walking movement at the local level.
- Send a letter to Congress to support the Transportation Alternatives portion of the MAP21 transportation bill and the Public Health and Prevention Fund. These bills would increase or maintain funding for pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure and programs.
- Contact your local park and recreation department and let them know you support safe routes to parks and ask about your local pedestrian and connectivity plans.
- Start a walking club in your community.
- Keep up the good work, keep on walking and get others to join!
Walking Resources for Everyone
Programs and Trails
Looking for a place to walk or someone to walk with? These organizations are a great place to start.
Girl Trek is a national nonprofit that mobilizes African American women and girls to walk and is inspired by the Civil Rights Movement.
Walk with a Doc is a national organization with local walking clubs that anyone can join.
Geocaching is an activity and app that can help you explore new places in your neighborhood by looking for hidden geocaches (objects).
Walk with Ease a walking program designed to help reduce pain from arthritis and improve overall health.
Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center is a center for research, technical assistance, advocacy, and networking for safe walking and bicycling. A great resource for getting involved in your community.
Park and recreation professionals check out these other great resources!
Source: National Recreation and Park Association