25 Green Walkiing Tips

Courtesy of CommonHealth... your State Employee Wellness program.

  1. Remember safety first when you walk: carry a whistle and a cell phone. Be sure to wear reflective clothing and walk with a buddy in populated, well-lit areas.
  2. Let someone know when, where and how long you plan to walk.
  3. Stay shaded from the sun; wear a hat, long sleeves, 100% UV sunglasses, and sunscreen with an SPF 15 or higher.
  4. Wear comfortable walking or running shoes. Running shoes provide the most cushioning. You might want to consider getting fitted for shoes that will give you good support.
  5. Stretch for a few minutes and slowly walk around your office a few minutes as a warm up. Do the same as a cool down at the end of your walk. Your muscles will thank you.
  6. Use a step counter to see how many steps you take in15 minutes. If you do not have a step counter, 2,000 steps is about one mile. You can drive your car a mile and then walk that route to gauge your distance.
  7. Keep track of your total distance and time each day.
  8. The Surgeon General recommends walking 7,000 to 10,000 steps a day. Make that a goal to work up to in 3-4 weeks.
  9. If you walk or stroll at a steady pace, you will likely walk a mile in 20 minutes.
  10. Pick up the pace and trek to walk a 15-minute mile.
  11. Vary your routes. This benefits the brain as well as the body.
  12. Use your arms by bending your elbows at a right angle and swing them as you walk or use walking/hiking poles. You will burn more calories and strengthen your arms in the process.
  13. Take the hill. Going up hill helps with endurance.
  14. Going down hill can help with balance.
  15. Walk with a buddy or a group. This will make your walk more enjoyable and safe.
  16. Have a walk and talk meeting, if you need to discuss an issue with a co-worker.
  17. Think positive thoughts as you walk.
  18. Continue to pace in place, when stopped at stop signs or traffic lights.
  19. 19. Keep walking shoes in your car or at your office, so you can walk whenever you have a chance. Keep a walking log of dates, times and distances you walk. It will fuel your sense of accomplishment.
  20. Use the stairs for an added workout.
  21. Write your thoughts in a blog or journal about your daily walking practice. It helps you see how far you have come and what you have learned and experienced.
  22. Walk inside when the weather is bad: try walking in different buildings or mall areas.
  23. Walking anywhere outside of work (to and from the store, work, or friends' homes) is one of the simplest and greenest activities we could ever do, so walk wherever and whenever you can!
  24. Walk with family members or neighbors on non-work days or when you do not have time during your workday.
  25. Go to the CommonHealth Web site at commonhealth.virginia.gov for more information.

Most importantly have fun and enjoy the physical and mental benefits that walking and other forms of activity can do for you and your family.