Step It Up!
For a printable version of this information, click here.
I. Walk the Walk!
For one-mile walking routes around the Cal State Northridge campus, click here (online) or click here (printable map).
- Clear the Mind, Nourish the Soul -
Changing just a few habits – and walking more – can lead to great rewards: more energy, lowered risk for weight-related illnesses including diabetes and heart disease, and better sleep. Consider these prompts – and if you do something successfully, let us know!
- Got shoes? Comfortable and supportive shoes make a big difference! If you’re not fond of the New York suit-and-running shoes look, consider shoes with good insoles and Velcro or elastic instead of laces. Taking that walk at lunch in sandals or heels may not be the best for your feet.
- Start slow (but start). A 10-minute walk at a moderate pace is half a mile! Two 10-minute walks is a mile. It’s not necessary – and not really advisable – to start off on a highly ambitious super-cardio treadmill workout. If you’re beginning to walk, here are some good resources:
http://www.thewalkingsite.com/beginner.html or http://www.shapeup.org/shape/steps.php
- Buddy Up: Team up with a friend; it’ll keep you both motivated and make the experience more enjoyable.
- Walk and Talk: When you have a meeting and you don't need paper or a computer screen, consider combining your conversation with exercise. This does require the foresight of having good walking shoes at your desk (but so does your personal emergency preparedness plan!).
- Remote Parking: If you are in the habit of choosing the closest parking spot, why not choose one a little further away? How about parking in a lot that's not right next to your building? Not enough time? Leave home 5 minutes earlier...
- Walk, Don't Drive: If you have a meeting at the other end of campus, give yourself enough time to walk there. This is especially helpful for people who work west of Etiwanda or east of Lindley. Going to an event at the University Club? Wear your *dress* walking shoes!
- Set a Goal: It’s no secret: good goals are specific, measurable, and have an end-date. For example, “By the end of December 2008, I will walk or bicycle 30 minutes 5 days/week.” A goal of “walking 3,000 steps on my pedometer” is measurable, unlike a goal of “being more active.”
- Get Support: Most people benefit from a support system. Let someone know what you’re doing, and ask them to check in with you periodically. If you want a more formal support system, consider signing up at www.stickk.com. At this website, you set a goal, and then choose people to help and support you (your “referee” and supporters). The referee enters your progress, and your supporters cheer you on when you succeed, or nudge you otherwise.
- Get More Information: Depending on your own goals, these resources might be helpful:
- The Walking Site
- Klotz Student Health Center: If your personal walking program is part of a weight-loss strategy, you might consider an individual nutritional analysis through The Klotz Student Health Center. The cost for staff and faculty is $25.00. You can make an appointment by calling x 3666 or click here.
- My Pyramid: The revised food pyramid from the US Department of Agriculture. It includes MyPyramid Tracker, a free online dietary and physical activity assessment tool.
- The Fitness Walking Guide
II. The Amazing Benefits of Walking:
|Strengthens back muscles
||Reduces risk of heart disease, diabetes, & more
|Slims your waist
|Easy on your joints
|Strengthens your bones
||Improves mood and outlook on life
|Lowers blood pressure
||Can be done almost anywhere
|Allows time with family and friends
||Requires no equipment
|Shapes and tones your legs and butt
||AND it's free
III. Go Ask Alice! (Health Services at Columbia University):
- The Health of a Couch Potato
- I Need a Kick-Start to get my Healthy Eating & Excercise Plan in Gear
- No Time for Working Out
- Fitting Excercise into a Busy Schedule
- Excercise Motivation...for Stress Reduction
- How Many Calories does it Take to Lose One Pound?
IV. Keep it Steady:
Maintaining a steady routine is THE single most important factor of a walking program. The US Surgeon General recommends walking for at least 30 minutes a day, five or more days a week , in order to benefit from all it can do for your body and soul .
However, staying motivated to keep the routine alive is, for most of us, the most difficult part of an exercise program.
Try these tips to help keep you on track:
- Walk with others.
- Join a walking program that’s gently competitive and offers incentives for success.
- Talk a friend into joining the program with you; preferably someone who won’t allow you to make excuses about why you can’t walk on
V. The Fitness Walking Guide.com:
The information on this site makes it easy to begin a walking program. Let the Fitness Walking Guide be your personal guide to reaching your fitness and weight loss goals. Go to http://www.the-fitness-walking-guide.com/walking-tips.html You can also download their personal LOG to help you keep track of your progress by going to http://www.the-fitness-walking-guide.com/walking-log.html.
VI. Did You Know? Walking is Just as Effect ive as High-Intensity Activites:
That’s right; you don’t have to torture yourself by working out long hours at the gym or running several miles. You can forget about the "no pain, no gain" exercise philosophy.
Research has shown that moderate intensity activities, such as brisk walking, are just as good for you. And if you don’t have a half hour to an hour a day to dedicate to walking, you can break it up into short, 10-minute walks throughout your day.
VII. This is Your Brain on Walking:
Walking and exercise has benefits beyond the merely physical. Many people walk as much for mental and spiritual well-being as for fitness.
Can walking make you happy? Can it help you deal with life stress? Can it help you work through relationship problems? Can it lead to a deeper spiritual and religious life? Most of the time, the answer is YES!
Exercise, such as walking, increases the blood flow to the brain. A 1999 study of people over 60 found that walking 45 minutes a day at 16-minute mile pace increased the thinking skills of those over 60. The participants started at 15 minutes of walking and built up their time and speed. The result was that the same people were mentally sharper after taking up this walking program.
VIII. ASREC Fitness Centre at CSUN:
Staff and faculty may join the Fitness Centre. Click here for more information.