Do you enjoy walking, but hate walking alone? Are you looking for a new way to motivate yourself and others to get up and get moving? Starting a walking group requires little effort and provides big rewards. Because walking is possible for most people and doesn’t require special skills or equipment, it has become the most popular form of physical activity in the U.S. If you like to walk, why not invite others along on your walking adventures? Getting support from others by walking together can actually help you stick with your health and fitness goals.
A daily, brisk 30-minute walk boosts brainpower, helps control weight, and improves your overall health. And if you commit to doing it with your friends, you’re more likely to stick with it. A sure way to get started and stay committed is to start a walking group.
Here are some suggestions for getting started.
Step 1- Partner up, start recruiting. Ask friends and neighbors if they’d like to form a walking group, and drum up interest by posting fliers in your retirement community or your place of worship. Also be sure to check with the activities center at your senior community for help in organizing.
Step 2- Encourage members of your walking group to set individual goals, like eating a healthier diet, and/or investing in a step counter to help keep track of their progress
Step 3- Establish guidelines and decide when, where, how long, and how often you’ll walk. Create some rules, like whether or not you’ll walk when it’s raining, and whether members need to notify the group if they can’t make it. Exchange contact information and agree on a starting date.
Step 4- Maintain momentum. Once your group’s walking routine is established, look for ways to maintain and boost motivation. You might choose a name for your walking group, enter charity-walking events, and set group goals to increase walking time.
Before you start walking, it’s important to check in with your physician to make sure your heart is healthy enough for exercise. Your doctor will also know how many minutes of exercise in optimal for your body. When you start walking regularly, pay attention to your body to find the intensity level you are most comfortable with. And remember, with any exercise routine, it’s important to stay hydrated.
Be sure to contact the activities director at your senior living community for assistance in organizing your group.