Let’s Walk! is a CAHA initiative to promote walking and creating a more walkable community so that Tri-County residents can have more places to be physically active in safe and fun environment. Through Let’s Walk! CAHA has helped place 140 destination walking signs in 10 communities, created and distributed over 75,000 Capital Area Parks and Trails Brochures to over 250 community organizations and through 65 medical offices, organized Let’s Walk and Talk with a Doctor events at different area parks and trails, and piloted a monthly walking program highlighting Eaton County parks.
Being physically active is one of the most important steps anyone of any age or ability can take to improve their health, and walking is an excellent way to increase activity. It is easy to do, and all you need is a good pair of shoes. Walk with a friend, a team, a pet or walk by yourself.
Walking can help you lose weight, but did you know that walking also…
Strengthens your heart
Promotes better sleep
Increases life expectancy
Is good for your bones
The benefits of walking are endless, and most of all, walking feels good and is fun! Let’s Walk!
Would you like to start a local walking group? Perhaps with your family, friends, neighbors or co-workers? We can help! CAHA and its Healthy Lifestyles Committee are developing a Walking Group Toolkit to help you on the journey of starting a walking group. With tools to organize, plan, and promote your walking group; a checklist to help plan your walks; and support from CAHA and other walking group leaders; the Toolkit will help you form a walking group that grows and motivates each other.
Tapping into the social support provided through a walking group can really help sustain walking efforts. And starting a walking group not only benefits the individual participants of your group but also the community at large by motivating and encouraging others to walk, leading to a healthier community.
The Toolkit will be rolled out on January 16, 2016, at the Winter Warm-Up Kick-Off at the Lansing Mall. Also be sure to check back here for further details.
The United States Surgeon General has released a Call to Action to Step It Up! and be more physically active through walking. It also calls on Americans to support walkable communities where it is safe and easy to walk and wheelchair roll for people of all ages and abilities.
The Let’s Walk! initiative not only promotes walking but is working toward improving walkability and access to safe and convenient places to walk and roll for everyone in our community. Current strategies include emphasizing social support interventions and running community-wide campaigns to encourage walking for people of all ages and abilities.
The Tri-County Area in the heart of Michigan has over 150 beautiful parks and trails ready to be used by anyone who seeks the serenity of nature, the excitement of recreation or a walk in the woods beside a river or lake. The Capital Area Parks & Trails brochure, developed by CAHA, highlights 36 of these destination parks and trails with a directory and map to get you going. Most of these parks are universally accessible, too.
Let’s Walk for Medical Practices
Let’s Walk for Medical Practices engages area physicians to recommend the use of area parks and trails for physical activity for their patients, using the Capital Area Parks & Trails Brochure as a practical resource. Currently there are 55 medical practices and 11 clinics participating in this initiative.
There are three levels that medical practices can become involved: 1) Offer the Capital Area Parks & Trails Brochure in their office; 2) Have conversations with patients about being physically active and give the brochure as a tool; 3) Incorporate physical activity discussions into medical records and “prescribe” physical activity in a patient’s visit summary, potentially programing the EMR to give a physical activity discussion prompt. Contact the Alliance if you are interested in participating.
The Let’s Walk & Talk with a Doctor (LWTD) series provides an ongoing free activity to help Tri-County residents be physically active and visit beautiful local parks and trails. LWTD walking events are held at different locations to expose residents to different parks, trails, and walking locations, such as the mall, that are available to them. At these events, physicians give a short motivational presentation on the benefits of being physically active, walkers get some tips on proper walking form, and the physicians and walkers head out for a stroll together.
There are so many great destinations within a 15-minute walk of where you live, work, or play. Take a fresh look at your own community and see where your feet may lead you. Whether you live in Charlotte, Dimondale, East Lansing, Eaton Rapids, Haslett, Lansing, Okemos, St. Johns, or Stockbridge, you can find Destination Walking Signs pointing you to a nearby park, trail, or community hang out. Almost 140 signs have been placed throughout 10 communities in the Tri-County area. We are on our way to making a more walkable community - so get out and get walking!
Capital Area Health Alliance | 2123 University Park Drive, Suite 105 | Okemos, Michigan 48864