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Explore the Benefits of Walking this Walktober 

 The month of October has a lot to offer – Halloween costumes, crisp leaves, pumpkin patch outings and…walking! 

This October, join South Dakota University Extension in making walking a priority during the 2nd annual Walktober event. Register online by September 29th and track miles or minutes October 1st-31st. This free, statewide walking challenge is open to all South Dakotans, with prizes given to the longest distance walked and a few random prizes, too. 

Walktober is the opportunity to become a healthier you. Walking is an activity that can be done indoor or outdoor, whether that’s on a treadmill, at the mall or at your local park. Make it a group activity by inviting family, friends or coworkers to join you. 

Physical activity, including walking, has many benefits

  • Decreases risk of high blood pressure and cholesterol 
  • Lowers chance of obesity 
  • Improves mental health 
  • Increases sleep quality 
  • Reduces anxiety 
  • Boosts brain health 

Current physical activity guidelines recommend that adults get 150+ minutes of aerobic physical activity a week, such as walking or swimming. Walktober helps you hit that goal! It is also recommended that adults have at least two days of muscle-strengthening activity each week, such as weight or resistance training. 

If you want to learn more about how to hit these exercise goals, the Move Your Way program has tools and information for all ages. The idea behind Move Your Way is that any movement counts. You don’t need to run a marathon; you can walk around the block! If you’re just starting your physical activity journey, raise the intensity and add to your routine as you continue to become stronger. Walktober is a great opportunity to increase your distance or time out walking as the month progresses. Plus, your walk routine doesn’t need to stop October 31st. Keep walking into the wintertime to increase endorphins and help chase any winter blues away! 

The accessibility to walking makes it easy to participate in Walktober. No specialized skills or equipment are needed. Take advantage of the nice fall weather and hit a local trail this walking season.