Being active is the secret to staying healthy, and walking is one of the easiest and least expensive ways to get moving. So how about starting a walking group? It’s a great way to get exercise into your day and build stronger relationships with family, neighbors or co-workers. Walking is one of the safest forms of exercise. Still, if any group members have concerns, they should check with their doctor before starting. They can also use this easy screening tool to help determine if they’re good to go.

A huge impact

Simply walking 30 minutes every day can have a great impact on health. Frequent, brisk walks can boost your brain power, make you more productive and lower health care costs by reducing a wide range of health risks. This project lays out a plan to gather people or reach out to family, neighbors, friends, or co-workers. By planning out walks and encouraging each other, a walking group can have a huge impact on everyone involved.

You enjoy walking and even have an exercise buddy to keep you on track. But maybe your enthusiasm has started to wane. The answer? Expand your workout circle and form a walking group in your community. By planning walks and encouraging one another, each member will have an impact on everyone else’s health.

A community-based organization

It offers simple steps to get started. First, see if there’s already a community-based organization that might join forces with you or offer ideas, information and resources. Maybe there’s a nonprofit that you’d like to support through a walk six or 12 months from now—check out its website to see if it offers planning pointers for fundraising events.
Next, decide how wide a net you want to cast to recruit members. You might keep the group to people you know or extend it to include friends of friends. Hold a kick-off meeting and work out key details like the days and times the group will meet, how long you’ll walk each time and a list of routes that will keep things interesting. Set up a system for contacting one another by text or e-mail so you can send updates and reminders before each walk.

Started in 2005 by David Sabgir, a cardiologist in Columbus, Ohio, it has chapters across the country. Walks are typically held on weekends for an hour and include a conversation with the local doctor who leads the chapter. It’s a great way to meet other people and get fit together.