Yes, you read the post title correctly and this is no April Fool’s joke (wouldn’t that be cruel? lol). I can’t make this stuff up, people.
I don’t think I have ever heard of this particular public health observance day (there are so many – for a full list, please visit Healthfinder.gov), but this effort has been around since 2004 and has many national sponsors, including the Clean Air Campaign, Prevention Magazine, U.S. Health and Human Services, and the American Podiatric Medical Association. Since this is a health media site, I wanted to share what was happening in the health world, but do I really expect you to cross two to three interstates, an overpass, and about 20 McDonald’s restaurants by foot on April 1? Absolutely not. But, I do think that there are some simple ways that you can support this national public health observance day:
1. If you take public transportation, try walking to a further stop before boarding, or getting off a stop early and waking the rest of the distance to work.
2. If walking is a part of your regular commute to work, you can log your trip at www.logyourcommute.org to receive a free pedometer from the Clean Air Campaign.
3. Make it a Walk to Lunch Day. Invite your co-workers to join you.
4. Dust off your bike and cycle your way to work, if the roads are safe. A friend was actually discussing a local shop that sells refurbished bikes in the Atlanta area. I am sure that there are many options like this in all areas or on Craigslist. Purchasing a bicycle is definitely on my immediate to-do list.
5. Make sure you wear comfortable shoes and a pedometer throughout your day. Logging 10,000 steps is equivalent to walking about 5 miles (awesome, don’t you think). You can easily achieve this through daily activities, like:
- Walking with your spouse, child, or friend
- Walking the dog
- Use the stairs instead of the elevator
- Parking farther from the store or office
- Or better yet, walk to the store or office
- Getting up to change the channel
- Window shopping
- Planning a walking meeting
- Walking over to visit a neighbor
- Getting outside to walk around the garden or do a little weeding
Walking for 30 minutes a day reduces your risk of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, some cancers, and contributes to a longer, healthier life. Usually, I make a trip to my neighborhood park to walk/run a mile or two. For me, it is a great time to clear my head, reflect on my day, and listen to my favorite song on repeat – like 97 times. Join me, by walking on April Fools Day – and everyday.
For more information on recommended physical activity guidelines, please click here.