NDSU Extension - Dickey County

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National Walking Month

Amee Ellinger, 4H/Youth Development and FCW Agent


WalkingMay is national walking month. The whole month is dedicated to healthy habit formation. One of the perks of living in town is having the opportunity to walk to work.  I personally walk to work almost every day. It not only saves me the hassle of starting a vehicle. It’s also a calming way to start the day before sitting behind a desk for 8 hours. Walking is truly one of the best ways to relive stress there is. There is substantial research that supports that walking promotes the release of brain chemicals called endorphins that stimulate relaxation and improve our mood. If you think you need to power walk to get these endorphin benefits, you’re wrong. Even a leisurely stroll can promote relaxation and stress relief. Ongoing stress can put you at a greater risk for developing physical issues, including heart disease and cancer. Fitness experts recommend that you should get 30 minutes of moderate physical activity every day of the week. When thinking of all the hours we have in the day, that doesn’t seem like that long of a time to set aside to do something that is improving our metal and physical wellbeing.  Even If you break it into 10- or 15-minute increments, the health benefits are the same. Walking for fitness or stress relief can be done almost anywhere, from a trail to the treadmill in front of your TV.  One of my all-time favorite things to do at night is go to the fitness center in Ellendale and watch the TV on the treadmill while I walk. You can bet I was walking during the season finale of the Bachelor!

One trend that I have notice quite a bit lately is people walking to “get there steps in”. The popularization of pedometers in the last few years has really helped bring to attention how much you are really walking in a day. It’s quite common to see all ages and walks of life wear some kind pedometer. The market has many different options ranging from 5$ up to the higher end Fit Bit bracelets. Most pedometers work in a similar way, counting the electronic pulses each time you take a step, and then it is multiplying those by your pre-programmed stride or step length  


1,000 steps is approximately a half miles so:
2,000 steps = 1 mile
3,000 steps = a half mile
4,000 steps = 2 miles
10,000 steps = 5 miles


The recommended goal for steps every day is at least 3000. If you are doing more than this, way to go! Keep it up and keep walking. If you don’t have a tracking system for your steps that’s perfectly fine too. Just use the time system of trying to get 30 minutes of physical activity in every day.

As spring approaches, I look forward to spending time outside and walking more. For national walking month I plan to get my walks in walking to work during national walking month. It doesn’t matter if you get your walk in on your way to work, during your lunch break or on a nice evening stroll, its important that you set apart some time in your day to get a walk in.

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