Walking group: Banish boredom, boost motivation
Starting a walking group requires little effort and provides big rewards. Simply spread the word and get organized. Soon you'll be walking toward better health.
By Mayo Clinic Staff
Because walking is possible for most people and doesn't require special skills or equipment, it has become the most popular form of physical activity in the U.S. If you like to walk, why not invite others along on your walking adventures? Getting support from others by walking together can actually help you stick with your health and fitness goals.
Starting a walking group isn't that hard, and the rewards are worth a little extra trouble.
Benefits of a walking group
You already know the health benefits of walking. Here's what else you get when you walk with others:
To start a walking group, start by spreading the word. Talk up your walking group among your family members, friends and neighbors. Use your Facebook or Twitter accounts to reach out to interested friends and friends of friends. You might be surprised to find that you're surrounded by people who are ready to lace up their walking shoes — and hold each other accountable for regular exercise.
Maybe you'd prefer recruiting colleagues. Ask your employer about having a friendly workplace competition. Challenge those in your work group to an activity tracker contest, for example. The group that achieves the most steps takes home bragging rights or a simple prize. Or, keep track of the number of minutes of activity for the group and see who comes out on top each week.
Each of you should be getting at least 150 minutes week of moderate intense physical activity … enough to make you breathe hard, but not enough to make you out of breath.
Dec. 30, 2016
See more In-depth
- Walking: A step in the right direction. NIDDK. http://win.niddk.nih.gov/publications/walking.htm. Accessed Nov. 3, 2016.
- Hanson S, et al. Is there evidence that walking groups have health benefits? A systematic review and meta-analysis. Br J Sports Med 2015;49:71. http://bjsm.bmj.com/content/49/11/710.
- More people walk to better health. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/vitalsigns/walking/. Accessed Nov. 3, 2016.
- Start or join a walking club. American Heart Association http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/HealthyLiving/PhysicalActivity/Walking/American-Heart-Association-Walking-Clubs_UCM_460019_Article.jsp#. Accessed Nov. 3, 2016.
- Tips for getting your steps in. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/features/getting-your-steps-in/. Accessed Nov. 3, 2016.
- Izumi BT, et al. Leader behaviors, group cohesion, and participation in a walking group program. American Journal of Preventive Medicine 2015;49:41. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0749379715000434.
- Laskowski E (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Nov. 8, 2016.