August 20, 2012

istock_000006737638xsmallIs walking something that you like to do for fun? If you walk by yourself, have you ever wondered how you can get a group together either at work or in your community like Bethany Village to walk with you? Walking is beneficial for many purposes. It can:

• Help control body weight
• Strengthen bones
• Improves mood; relieves stress and anxiety
• Enhances ones flexibility and body coordination
• Ability to walk with friends or coworkers builds camaraderie
• Its inexpensive and is a convenient way of exercising

Getting Started:

A walking club begins typically by identifying 3-5 people who can help promote and encourage the club and participation. A worksite or community-driven wellness committee usually can help start this process. It’s important to pick consistent times through the week and allotting specific days of the week. Usually 2-3 times a week is great, but everyday is ideal! Picking a walking route, either around work or at a local park, is very important because you need to determine the length and amount of time spent walking. The distance of the route can also determine a caloric burn some participants want to achieve. These factors help determine objectives for the group.

When it comes time to promote the walking club, try to be as creative as possible. Creating a flyer with unique name for the group, having predetermined route information and times and contact people for the group is very important. Sending out emails, flyers, putting information with pay stubs, using work place specific websites to promote work site wellness, holding meetings, spreading by word of mouth are all ideas to generate interest. A walking club should be fun, so have fun promoting it! Make sure to have a sign up sheet to find out how many people are interested.

When it comes time for the first club walk, make sure the sign up sheet is with you. There may be people attend that didn’t sign up initially; you should get their information. Reiterate where the walk starts and ends. Some walkers may need to alter the route depending on their health and fitness levels. Mention that everyone walks at different paces and that is just fine. If everyone starts and ends at the same point, it will help tie together the club mentality.

The main purpose of a Walking Club is to have fun. If you need more information on getting a club started, the American Heart Association has resources to further help you get started. Now it’s time to take off the dress shoes and lace up the sneakers! Happy walking everyone!

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