As you may know WE are all about Step Counting (10,000 Steps) and Walking to promote a healthier life style and a better heart.
With TODAY being the American Heart Association’s National Walking Day (April 6), we thought it would be a fabulous time to talk about joining or starting a walking group.
Obviously joining or starting a walking group has a ton of benefits
- Motivation when working out with others
- Usually more fun than walking alone
- Increased social interaction …
Walking Groups – So how do you get started?
The easiest way is to use your local community, workplace or school.
Pick a day and time – This helps set the cadence for the walking group. We suggest initially picking a day and time of the week that works best for your schedule. Since you will be starting the group, you can dictate when and where. Later after the group is established picking another date or multiple dates is certainly an option.
If you find that the time you selected isn’t optimal for participants, again you can decide a better date and time that works.
In our experience choosing a morning time is usually best, but may conflict with people’s work or family situations. We have found that the later the time, the more often people will skip out on the routine because of various excuses.
Choose a route – There are all sorts of mapping programs, but here is just a few
- Google Maps
Providing a map of the course is always a welcome addition to a walking group. As a group gets bigger, different people will show up who walk at different speeds. Smaller sub groups will form based on this and having everyone know the route is always more beneficial to the overall group.
Decide how large you want the group to be – Smaller groups are usually much easier to manage, but larger groups offer the opportunity to meet new people and establish new friendships. Larger groups also have the benefit of being more consistent. With small groups, one or two people not showing up can breakdown the group dynamic. With larger groups a few people not showing up doesn’t really effect the group mentality.
Advertise – When starting a group you can use Facebook, Email or sites like Meetup.com. Pictures are worth a thousand words, so snap away and show everyone how fun it can be. Create Facebook fan pages or possibly a website.
After Party – Eventually you will want to share your walking experiences with others in a non-walking environment like a cafe or restaurant or home.
That’s It! So have fun and get walking.
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