Many people are intimidated or afraid to start a fitness routine. But several Frederick County walkers are offering a healthy dose of motivation to help you get started! And they should know—these area walkers were part of LiveWell Frederick’s recent Walk Across America Challenge.
Don’t worry: You need not walk all the way across America to be healthy. But taking the first step toward a healthy walking routine is the most important (and sometimes the hardest) step to take.
Fitting It Into Your Day
Here’s how Ellen Nicodemus, BSN, RN, CPN, CPEN, of Frederick Health Pediatric Care, fit walking into her daily routine:
“The LiveWell Walk Across America challenge was helpful to me in motivating me to ‘take steps’ to increase my walking each day. On workdays, I left home about 30 minutes earlier than usual, parked on the deck, and walked around the nearby college campus and neighborhoods prior to going into the hospital. Another strategy was taking the stairs and/or the long way to an errand in the hospital or between departments. On days off, I rode my bicycle on errands rather than driving.”
What Are the Stats?
Even though walking is the most popular form of aerobic physical activity, only about half of all American adults are getting enough physical activity, according to the latest CDC statistics.
How much activity is recommended?
According to CDC guidelines, adults need 150 minutes of activity every week (that’s two and a half hours), according to CDC guidelines.
What are the health benefits?
Physical activity, including walking, often results in the following health benefits:
- Weight control
- Longer life expectancy
- Lower risk for heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and some cancers
- Lower risk for depression
And that’s just for starters. Medical experts also cite:
- Boosts to emotional and mental health
- Reduced stress
- Improved sleep habits
Make a Plan
Another walking “superstar,” Ashley Balsley, BSN, RN, ACM-RN, a Frederick Health Integrated Care Manager, recommends making a walking plan complete with goals and teamwork. Here are her tips:
- Take a 10-minute walk during your lunch break.
- Locate a restroom further from your workspace and use that each time.
- On a long call, stand up and step in place or simply stretch side to side.
- Create an activity team with your co-workers to boost activity for all.
- Start with a small goal and as everyone achieves the goal of steps or minutes of activity, start to increase.
- Working together in teams will provide you a network of individuals to lean on for support and will help you remain accountable.
Adventure Awaits: Resources to Start Your Steps
Change of pace, change the place: Here’s a handy guide to Frederick County’s many walking trails.