Ready, set, walk! April 3 is National Walking Day! So, mark your calendar, clean off your sneakers, and break out the pedometer. You can even call your friends and family to make it a team sport. We encourage you to do whatever works for you. Just be sure to get moving.
Do you know how many steps you take in an average day? Well, we don’t follow around each and every one of you (that’d be creepy), so we can’t say for sure either. But, it may help to know the general recommendation is for each person to take about 10,000 steps per day. How far is 10,000 steps? According to The Walking Site, “The average person’s stride length is approximately 2.5 feet long. That means it takes just over 2,000 steps to walk one mile, and 10,000 steps is close to 5 miles.” Eeps!
If you don’t fall into this category of 5-mile-per-day steppers, you’re not alone. Take heart. There’s something you can do about it. The American Heart Association has made a day for you … and for you … and for you. It’s called National Walking Day!
This year National Walking Day takes place April 3, and is a day for ALL of us, regardless of current fitness level, to reassess how we move through our day. Statistics show that “1 in 2 men, and 1 in 3 women are at risk for heart disease, and research shows that poor lifestyle is a major contributor.” Walking can be an effective addition to your holistic health and wellness routine. It boosts your energy, may help lower cholesterol and body fat, can help improve your mood, and it also helps you to reconnect to your environment. All good things.
So, how many steps will you pledge to take on National Walking Day? You don’t have to tell us .. unless you want to. But, you may want to set a goal and keep that number in mind for a little extra motivation.
Here are some suggestions for how to easily participate in National Walking Day:
- Wear your sneakers to work and walk everywhere you would normally take the elevator or escalator.
- Heck, walk to work if you can! If not, walk to lunch and back.
- Gather a walking group of co-workers, friends, and/or family to hit the trails for an evening walk or hike.
- Power down to your local farmer’s market to see what’s fresh for dinner.
- Instead of driving to complete your errands, walk to as many as you can.
- Have a fitness walking meeting with your support team to set some new goals for the next month.
- Get grounded! Earthing—or, walking barefoot on the earth’s surface—is “a potential game changer in the fight against chronic health problems.” Researchers are currently investigating how this seemingly simple practice can harness the healing potential of the earth’s electrons to neutralize free radicals, regulate sleep cycles, and regulate stress-causing cortisol. So, after your walk, kick off your sneakers and unplug for few by connecting with nature in this real, physical way. (For more information on earthing, visit ACHS President Dorene Petersen’s Facebook page here.)
How will you participate in National Walking Day? Please feel free to post your walking suggestions here!
This is time where we can honestly say … we hope you leave us in the dust!
 The Walking Site. (2013, March 29). 10,000 Steps A Day. www.thewalkingsite.com. Retrieved from http://www.thewalkingsite.com/10000steps.html
 American Heart Association. (2013, March 29). National Walking Day. http://www.startwalkingnow.org. Retrieved from http://www.startwalkingnow.org/about_start_walking_day.jsp
 DaySpa Magazine. (2013, April). Healing News: Grounded in Science, 32.
 Journal of Environmental and Public Health. “Earthling: Health Implications of Reconnecting the Human Body to the Earth’s Surface Electrons.” From DaySpa Magazine. (2013, April). Healing News: Grounded in Science, 32.
Walking image copyright free from Morguefile at http://mrg.bz/3tF49r
Earthing image by Dorene Petersen. Reproduced with permission.