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Get some SPRING into your step & walk outdoors

Just FOUR days until the FIRST DAY OF SPRING (but who's counting?)!

The weather is getting nicer & we are all itching to get outside again, and what better way to ease into exercise than WALKING?!

Benefits of walking:

Aside from the obvious (you burn calories), according to ACSM(1) physical activity can improve respiratory function, cognitive function, mood and sleep as well as decreasing anxiety, depression, and risk of many diseases.

Considerations for walking outdoors:

1. Awareness when walking on a street, paths/trail, or running track:

  • Conditions of the streets, sidewalks, path, or track- watch out for damaged areas and holes

  • Watch and respect traffic of all kinds: vehicles, bicyclists and foot traffic

  • Business operations and/or local events

2. Walker Common Courtesies:

  • Walkers should generally stay to the right

  • Walk no more than 2 abreast & on narrow pathways have one walking partner fall behind when approaching walkers in other directions

  • If you stop or take a break, try to stop off the path whenever possible

3. Safety Practices:

  • Always opt for a sidewalk, but if there are no sidewalks available and you have to walk on the road, walk facing traffic (2,3)

  • Look in all directions before crossing & never assume a vehicle will stop at a pedestrian cross walk

  • Use crosswalks and follow traffic signals, or cross in a well lit area if there are no crosswalks available

  • Wear bright clothing or reflective gear at dusk or dawn

  • Check the weather before you venture out to see if there are any extreme conditions may occur during your walk

  • Use sunscreen, hats, and/or sunglasses

4. Walking Program Tips:

  • Your first week start with about 15-20 minutes

  • Stretch AFTER your walk as part of your cool-down

  • Increase 1000 steps every other week (about 1/2 mile), or 1/4 mile each week

5. Gear

  • Quality walking or running shoes

  • App for tracking or pedometer

  • Water (for during or after)

Happy Walking!

1. American College of Sports Medicine,, Riebe, D., Ehrman, J. K., Liguori, G., & Magal, M.(2018)

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