Walking is good exercise!1
It is free. It makes you feel good. Walking helps you to get healthy and stay healthy. Follow these simple tips to have many happy, healthy safe walks!
- Walk on the sidewalk.
- Look left, right, and left before crossing a street.
- Watch for cars, bicycles, and other pedestrians.
- Cross streets at crosswalks. If you are inside a crosswalk, cars should stop for you.
- Wait for the green light before you walk. Do NOT cross on the red or yellow light.
- If the sign shows a picture of a person walking, it is OK to walk.
- Always watch for cars. A driver may not see you.
- If there is no sidewalk, walk on the side of the road facing traffic.
- Wear bright clothing during the day. Wear clothes that reflect light (or use a flashlight) at night.
- Do not walk alone at night.
When you find places you may want to walk in your neighborhood, make sure to check to see how safe they are. Take your supporter or a friend with you to do a “walkability” checklist2.
- Did you have plenty of room to walk?
- Was it easy to cross streets?
- Did drivers stop for you?
- Was it easy to follow safety rules?
- Did you enjoy your walk? Did you feel safe?
An easy way to increase the amount of exercise you get each day is to count your steps. People, who count their steps, walk more.
Use an inexpensive pedometer to count your steps. The pedometer is a small device that you clip on your clothing. You can buy one at your local drug store. Use it to see how many steps you take in a day.
- Clip it on in the morning when you get up.
- Take it off before you go to bed at night.
Set a daily goal to increase your number of steps.
- Walk up stairs instead of taking the elevator.
- Take a walk after dinner instead of watching TV.
- Start making small changes to hit your daily step goal.
John walked 3,500 steps the first day he wore his pedometer. He decided to set a goal of 5,000 steps a day. Within a week he had reached his goal! He increased his goal to 7,000 steps a day…and he just kept going! John has lost weight and feels great!
The goal for good health is 10,000 steps a day. See if you can reach that goal!
1 Sources: 1) US Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration (DOT), Pedestrian Safety Guide; 2) California DMV, Pedestrian Safety; 3) DOT Everyone Is A Pedestrian!
2 For a copy of the “walkability” checklist go to http://katana.hsrc.unc.edu/cms/downloads/walkability_checklist.pdf.
3 Source: www.SFGate.com/Health, 1/29/14