NEW YORK, April 4, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- On Wednesday, April 6, The American Heart Association (AHA) will kick off National Walking Day to rally everyone – individuals, friends, families, neighborhoods, communities, schools, and workplaces - to join together and walk for health and fun. The day is a great opportunity to promote all the benefits of walking, and people can keep the momentum going throughout the year by starting a Monday Mile in their community.
Shavise Glascoe, exercise physiologist at the Johns Hopkins Weight Management Center, advises participating in a weekly walking group as an effective way to form and sustain healthy habits like walking on a regular basis.
"We started Monday Mile walks on campus when we realized that we could be more active, especially working in health promotion. We invited students, faculty members and their families to walk together every Monday and start the week off in an easy, energetic way. I'm happy to say that, weather-permitting, we continue our Monday Mile walking group, week after week," Ms. Glascoe said.
The Lerner Centers for Public Health Promotion at Johns Hopkins, Syracuse and Columbia universities participate in the Monday Mile program. Syracuse University joined with the City of Syracuse and Onondaga County to create 17 marked one-mile routes throughout the city. The Columbia Lerner Center collaborates with Columbia University Office of Work/Life to add Move It Monday and Monday Mile messages to facilitate regular walking groups for university employees.
Why Monday? Research by Johns Hopkins shows that people are more likely to commit to an exercise program on Monday, and those who start their week with exercise are more likely to keep doing it throughout the week.
To keep walking group participants motivated to doing a Monday Mile, Ms. Glascoe suggests the following strategies that will counteract the biggest hurdle to exercise – getting people out of their offices.
- Treat the Monday Mile as an appointment with your health – schedule it on your weekly calendar to make it a habit.
- Don't look at the Monday Mile as an all-or-nothing idea – prepare for barriers (like an unscheduled meeting with your boss) and have a back-up plan to keep on moving.
- Use the buddy system – bring a friend to walk with you and pledge to keep each other on track.
The Monday Mile is part of The Monday Campaigns, a nonprofit organization, which dedicates the first day of every week to health. The organization offers a free Monday Mile Starter Kit and resources for workplaces, campuses and community groups to start their own program.
Download the kit at: http://www.moveitmonday.org/mondaymile/
For a Monday Mile infographic: http://bit.ly/GroupWalkingGraphic
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SOURCE The Monday Campaigns