10,000 steps a day is the goal, right? But how does a person reach the goal when lifestyles are both sedentary and busy? Roughly two-thirds of Johnson County residents told surveyors in 2015 that they don’t exercise because they aren’t motivated or they don’t have time. One solution – walking groups.
Benefits of Walking Groups
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), social support can be an important influence on an individual’s overall health and their attempts to increase physical activity. In several studies, participants who joined a walking group increased the time they spent being active by 44 percent; walking groups also improved their overall fitness levels, lowered their percentage of body fat and improved confidence in their ability to exercise.
Many of the city parks and recreation department’s host weekly walking groups that are open for anyone to join. Walking is free and, for most individuals, an achievable form of exercise. Walking often becomes more enjoyable and those daily goals easier to accomplish when walkers have friends to walk with, encouraging and supporting them along the way.
Start a Walking Group
LiveWell Johnson County challenges you to find a friend or a group to walk with. Be creative! Here are a few ideas to get you started!
- Leave the dinner dishes for later. When your family is finished with the evening meal, lace up those sneakers, grab the dog, and take a family walk.
- Take walking breaks at work or hold walking meetings. Just a few minutes away from your desk can get the juices flowing again. Ask co-workers to come along; you never know who you might get to know.
- Grab other parents or grandparents during your child’s sports practice. When parents use this practice time to scroll Facebook or sit in the bleachers, they are missing an opportunity! Many of the sports fields in the county are connected to a trail or have sidewalks around surrounding greenspace that are just calling for walkers.
Find a Walking Group
LiveWell Johnson County is partnering with the Olathe and Shawnee Parks and Recreation Departments to create walking groups around youth sports practices. To learn more about joining a walking group through your local parks and recreation or how to start your own, explore the links below.