I often think about simple things we can do to improve our health without hurting our wallets. With warmer weather and increased sunlight, I’ve been spending more time outdoors. Whether it’s walking my dog, or intentionally walking some place instead of getting in my car, I’ve realized how easy it is to incorporate walking into my daily routine.
We’ve all heard time and again that walking is good for us! Some of the health benefits include: reducing risk for heart disease and stroke, controlling blood sugar, weight control, and increasing overall energy. But, more often than not, we are unaware of how little we walk on a daily basis. Walking is a low impact activity that is good for most people. The American Heart Association recommends a daily goal of 10,000 steps. If you have ever tried walking this much, you know it is no easy task. Ten thousand steps are approximately five miles. Many people track their steps with a pedometer or activity tracker to set short term goals. If you are interested in counting your steps, it is often recommended to start with a small daily goal and increase your steps by 500 every day. However, reaching 10,000 steps can seem daunting to some people. Here are some other ideas to consider if you simply like to do more walking on a daily basis:
• Go to www.startwalkingnow.org to find the closest walking path near your home or work: this user friendly web site will help you discover new trails in El Paso or nationwide. • Take the stairs: it’s usually much easier for us to take the elevators, but next time you’re leaving the building, think about getting in a few extra steps by walking down a flight of stairs. • Go for a hiking adventure: we are lucky enough to live near one of largest urban state parks in the country-Franklin Mountains State Park. There are hiking trails to explore on your own, or you can participate in their organized hikes led by Park Rangers. Check their web site at www.tpwd.state.tx.us/state-park/franklin-mountains for more information. • Get up and move every hour: if you have a desk job, you may be sitting more than walking, so moving every hour is especially important. Try to get up and walk around for at least 10-15 minutes every hour. • Set a goal: Make a decision to walk more and decide how you’re going to get there. I’ve made it my personal goal for the month of May to try and achieve 10,000 steps every day. I’ve invested in an activity tracker that will count my steps to help me do this. It will likely take me some time to get there, but I am going to make it my goal to walk more every day. Follow the Paso del Norte Health Foundation on Facebook at pdnhfoundation, or Twitter @pdnhfoundation and I will post a weekly update of my progress.
Will you join me in walking just a little bit more every day?
Back to Articles
February 15, 2018
Students at Ysleta Independent School District (YISD) are leading a more healthy and active lifestyle these days, due to the coordinated approach of students, campus staff, and student families that are learning the Coordinated Approach To Child Health or CATCH program. With support from the Paso del Norte Health Fo…