Tag Archives: Walking

Why Walk 20 Minutes?

There are mountains of research, tons of studies, and endless reports stating Americans need to be more physically active. Of course, the truth is – most of us already know we should be more active – it can’t hurt right? But, it seems like everywhere you turn there’s different advice on how much exercise is the right amount. Which is why finding the right amount of physical activity, combining it with the right intensity level, and balancing that with the rest of a busy life can feel a tad overwhelming.

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We do our best to keep up with the latest research and recommendations and here are some of the reasons adding about 20 minutes of physical activity to your daily routine makes sense to us and why we think it’s a good goal to start you on the path to better health:

1. South Dakotans Need More Physical Activity
According to South Dakota’s 2013 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, only 18.4% of adults achieved the recommended level of both aerobic and muscle strengthening physical activity, and 25.8% of adults are getting NO physical activity outside of work. What’s even more concerning is that 72% of South Dakota youth (9-12 grade) does do not get the recommended 60 minutes of physical activity. Bottom line, we all need to get more exercise.

We checked in with South Dakotans on the subject and here’s what we found:

Walking works.
When we think about adding exercise to our list, walking is the number one activity of choice, and the one we are most likely to engage in most often.

Walking is more fun with someone.
Friends, family, pets, or co-workers make walking (aka: exercising) easier, something we can look forward to, and something that we will do more regularly.

Walking covers a lot of bases.
No special equipment or membership required. You can walk fast, slow, up, down, in or out. No matter what your personal level of fitness, walking is something that almost everyone can add to their daily routine.

2. Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans Goal: 150 Minutes Per Week
The federal Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion works with a variety of federal and state agencies and keeps track of all kinds of data. Based on this data, they have recommended Americans increase the amount of physical activity we get. Specifically, for adults, they recommend at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity aerobic physical activity per week or 75 minutes of vigorous intensity aerobic physical activity or an equivalent combination of both moderate and vigorous intensity.

That might sound a little intimidating, but when you break it down… it’s really only about 20 minutes per day.

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3. Surgeon General’s Call to Action to Promote Walking and Walkable Communities
Recently, the Surgeon General also weighed in on the need for more physical activity, pointing to the numerous health benefits of walking with a Call to Action to increase walking across the United States by calling for improved access to safe and convenient places to walk and wheelchair roll and by creating a culture that supports these activities for people of all ages and abilities. And, because walking is one of the easiest and most common forms of exercise, it only makes sense to make walking a national priority.

4. Take The First Step – About 20 Minutes At A Time
There are plenty of sources, reports and recommendations pointing to walking as an easy way to increase levels of physical activity. And most experts will agree that adding between 20 and 30 minutes of exercise to your daily routine is a good place to start. The best part about walking for about 20 minutes a day is that it’s an attainable goal. It’s long enough to provide a number of benefits to your overall health, and short enough to fit into your regular routine.

So what are you waiting for? Take the first step, grab a friend, and take a walk! All you need is about 20 minutes! Walk, walk, walk!

Sources & Other Helpful References:
2013 South Dakota Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System
Get Movin’! Infographic
South Dakota Physical Activity Study
Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion: 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans
HealthyPeople.gov
Surgeon General’s Call to Action To Promote Walking and Walkable Communities
America Walks
EverybodyWalk!

Where to Walk & Play

With all the great places to be active in South Dakota, you may have a hard time narrowing down the choices. Fortunately, the SD Department of Health, SDSU Extension, and the SD Game, Fish & Parks teamed up to create a couple of handy lists that show some of the different activities offered in South Dakota State Parks.

  • Group activities: disc golf, volleyball, basketball, soccer, and softball
  • Low impact activities: walking, geo-cacheing, swimming, and lawn games
  • Trail activities: walking, running, hiking, biking, and archery
  • Water activities: swimming, canoeing, kayaking, and paddle boarding
  • Winter activities: snow shoeing, cross-country skiing, and hiking

Download the activities postcards or use the SD Game, Fish & Parks’ State Park Filtering Tool to see what activities are available at your nearest park.

Physical activity has immediate health benefits and the best part is—any activity counts! That’s right, even small amounts of moderate to vigorous physical activity can:

  • Reduce anxiety
  • Improve quality of sleep
  • Help maintain bone density
  • Increase strength
  • Improve flexibility

Walking for just a few minutes a day is the perfect way to start exploring all the great places in our beautiful state parks. So, grab the kids, a friend, load up a pet, and take a walk in one of our great state parks—better yet, find an activity and invite the whole gang!

Sources: Health.gov, SD Game, Fish & Parks

Walk & Bike to School Day: Join the Movement!

Join thousands of schools and communities around the country that participate in Walk & Bike to School annual activities.

  • Walk to School Day is October 7, 2020
  • Bike to School Day is May 5, 2021

Walk to School Day and Bike to School Day are part of a movement for year-round safe routes to school.

These events encourage community members to consider:

  • Creating safe, friendly routes for biking and walking
  • Building a sense of community or school spirit
  • Inspiring families to walk and bike to school more often

There are lots of ways to get involved year round. You can start simply by encouraging students to walk or bike to school, then spread the word and build into a larger community-wide initiative. You can also plan and register a local event, see schools walking and biking in your community, and find support materials.

Children deserve safe places to walk and bike—starting with the trip to school. That’s why the National Centers for Safe Routes to School also partners with Vision Zero for Youth to eliminate traffic fatalities and serious injuries. Vision Zero provides additional opportunities for advocates to tap into a broader initiative that city leaders have publicly and officially committed to. Encouraging your city officials to join Vision Zero for Youth can bring more visibility and possibly additional funding, improvements, or actions that benefit Safe Routes to School.

Plan and register a local event, see schools walking and biking in your community, find support materials, and learn more about this movement.

Source: Walk & Bike to School; National Centers for Safe Routes to School; Vision Zero for Youth

Park Rx: A Prescription for a Day in the Park!

The South Dakota Department of Health, Department of Game, Fish and Parks, and SDSU Extension are teaming up with doctors and healthcare providers to encourage physical activity through the Park Rx project.

The project encourages healthcare providers to prescribe exercise – and when they do – patients can take their Park Rx to any South Dakota State Park and turn it in for a FREE pass for the day. Patients can also turn in the pass that same day and receive a discounted annual pass to encourage year long activity.

The trend to prescribe physical activity is sweeping the nation and we want healthcare providers in South Dakota to sign up and get their patients moving.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Fill out the form below.
  2. If you’re a patient, Park Rx information will be sent to the provider you list, encouraging them to sign up.
  3. If you’re a healthcare provider, an information packet with Park Rx pads will be mailed to you.

Park Rx Requests:

Are you a healthcare provider?

Questions? Contact Nikki Prosch (nikki.prosch@sdstate.edu)
*required fields

Spread the word!

  • Talk to your friends and family and tell them how to get their own Park Rx.
  • Download this flyer. Show it to your doctor or healthcare provider and ask if they are participating in the Park Rx project.
  • Plan an event in your local community promoting physical activity in parks – involve your school, healthcare facilities, community members, and local businesses. Consider planning your event around National Park Rx Day.
  • You have so many options to enjoy the outdoors in South Dakota! Discover all the ways you can fill your Park RX Prescription.

Exercise is medicine for everyone!

Regular physical activity can:

  • improve muscular fitness
  • aid in prevention of falls
  • assist with weight management
  • improve cognitive function in older adults
  • prevent and help manage certain chronic diseases

Kids benefit too!
Many children and adolescents don’t get the recommended 60 minutes of physical activity each day. Besides building strong bones and muscles, regular physical activity also decreases the likelihood of developing obesity and risk factors for diseases like type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Plus, exercise may give a boost in positive mental health by reducing anxiety and depression. If you’re ready to promote youth physical activity, download the Youth Physical Activity Recommendations fact sheet to get started.

Any regular physical activity is beneficial, but doing it while in a park is even better! Outdoor activity improves mental and physical well-being more than indoor activity and spending time in nature is associated with better cognitive development in schoolchildren.

Download the Park Rx infographic and share and display it everywhere for a little extra motivation.

Here’s the buzz about Park Rx:
Park Rx is sweeping the nation! As seen on National Geographic and Scientific American!


The South Dakota Park Rx project aligns with the vision of the Exercise is Medicine® initiative. The goal is to make physical activity and exercise a standard part of global disease prevention and treatment. Our goal is to increase assessment and prescription of physical activity. Park Rx is a great way to encourage physical activity for your patients.

For a complete listing of South Dakota State Parks and to find the ones closest to you visit South Dakota Game, Fish & Parks.

For more information about exercise assessment and prescription, please visit ExerciseIsMedicine.org

ParkRx.org provides information about the national park prescription movement as well as the incredible physical, mental, and social benefits of exercise in nature.

To find out more about the recommended levels of physical activity, talk with your doctor and visit Health.gov

Walk Walk Walk

South Dakota – it’s time to walk! Walking is one of the easiest ways to increase physical activity levels. The Surgeon General wants walking to become a national priority and we are following in those footsteps by encouraging everyone to walk: walk more, walk often, walk with friends, walk about 20 minutes, walk at work, walk with your kids or grandkids, walk a cat or a dog… just walk! Why walk 20 minutes?

Walking is the single most recommended form of exercise and we know that when you walk with someone you are more likely to form a new habit. And, because there are so many ways to walk – fast or slow, up a hill, down a sidewalk, on a path, at the mall, in the hall, or off on a trail – and so many levels of intensity, it’s easy to tailor a walking habit that fits your personal physical activity goals.

 

 

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The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans

recommends that adults get at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic physical activity per week, and children get at least 60 minutes per day.

Now–that might seem like a big number, but when you break it down–it’s just slightly more than 20 minutes per day. You can do 20 minutes–right?

Let’s get moving South Dakota! Grab a friend, a co-worker, a kid, a cat… and let’s move the needle: only one half of adults nationwide meet the Physical Activity Guidelines–we can do better.

 

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More places to walk!

South Dakota is full of best kept secrets and tons of fun place to explore.
Check out these links for a few ideas on how & where to be more active:

Game Fish & Parks
SD Parks & Recreation Association
Live Well Sioux Falls
Live Well Black Hills
SD Discovery Center
Hike It Baby
All Trails
Every Trail

 

Walking Toolkit: Improve your health, well-being & quality of life

Did you know that walking is the #1 physical activity of choice for South Dakotans? We walk for fun. We walk for exercise. We walk for transportation, and we walk to connect – with each other and with our environment. This toolkit is for anyone who wants to walk more and inspire others in their community to Get Movin’!

Learn what walkability is, why it matters and how to create more access to walkable areas. Learn the basics of starting a walking program and find lots of resources to help make walking easy and fun for everyone.

We’re challenging all community leaders, health champions, wellness directors, worksite wellness coordinators, healthcare providers and walking enthusiasts to download, read up and… Walk! Walk! Walk!

South Dakota Physical Activity Study 2014

At 53.7%, South Dakotans recently surpassed the National median (50.6%) when it comes to meeting recommended physical activity guidelines for aerobic exercise. However, we still rank lower than many of our surrounding states. Studies have shown that 71% of “inactive” South Dakotans are either overweight or obese, putting them at significant health risk. In November 2014, Healthy South Dakota commissioned a statewide telephone survey, the purpose of which was to provide information about “inactive” South Dakotans and in so doing, discover why it is that they are inactive, what types of physical activity they would be most likely to do repeatedly, and what it would take to persuade/motivate them to do so.

The Surgeon General recently released a Call to Action to Promote Walking and Walkable Communities, and the South Dakota State Plan for Nutrition and Physical Activity 2015-2020 goals include the adoption of healthy community design principals and access to places and spaces to be physically active. The Physical Activity Phone Survey Highlights offers some insights into what our top priorities should be.