Walking Talk

Provided Photo

Jaya Davis

500+ Rutland County residents have been walking in the “100 miles in 100 days” Walking Challenge for over a month now! People from all corners of the county have been walking one mile (or more) every day.

Walking is great for your health! There are hundreds of reasons why walking is important to keep you healthy. According to Health Day News, “more Americans are trying to walk their way to better health. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported between 2005 to 2015, the percentage of women who walk daily increased from 57 percent to 65 percent, and the percentage of men walking increased from 54 percent to 63 percent.”

The American Council on Exercise created a “walking toolkit” with 52 Walking Fun Facts! A few good ones to keep you motivated:

You use an estimated 200 muscles during walking.

Walking uphill activates three times more muscle fibers than walking on flat terrain. It also burns up to 60 percent more calories.

Focusing on an object ahead of you can increase your speed by as much as 23 percent.

To get a rough estimate of how fast you walk, count the number of steps you take in a minute and divide by 30. The average walking speed for a typical adult is approximately three miles per hour (mph).

Walk to the beat “Shut Up and Dance” and you’ll be going about 3.5 mph. If you can keep up with “Shake It Off,” you’ll be cruising at more than 5 mph.

The average person will walk an estimated 65,000 miles in his/her lifetime; this is the equivalent of three trips around the world!

Adding 150 minutes of brisk walking to your routine each week can add a little over three years to your lifespan.

Walking is key to a healthy lifestyle. It is important to think of how to stick with this walking habit that you have developed or are working on developing. Changing our behaviors is difficult because we are creatures of habit. One way to create a change is to develop a goal, often referred to as a SMART goal. S-M-A-R-T stands for specific, measurable, accountable, reward and track. The goal needs to be Specific. For example, walk 10 minutes every morning at 10 a.m. It needs to be Measurable — choose a specific timeframe and how long you plan to walk. Try and be Accountable to someone, such as the 100 miles walking challenge. Make a plan to Reward yourself if you are able to stick with your goal. A good healthy reward could be new shoes or taking a yoga class. Also, make sure you keep Track of your progress — write it down, wear a pedometer or step counter, or tell your walking coach. Being a part of the 100 miles in 100 days walking challenge is a SMART goal!

New habits take about 90 days (or three months) to stick with you. The longer you stick with it, the more likely it will become a habit, just like brushing your teeth. Luckily, the challenge is 100 days, so by the end walking should be an old habit. Best of luck with your walking habits. It is important for your health and well-being.