100 Years of Walking – Advice on Getting Started
This article is part of a larger series of interviews with Mr. Donald Bean. For the full series, click here.
For Mr. Bean walking is not just an effective form of transportation around his community, it is the exercise his body needs and it is wellness for his mind. Mr. Bean is proof of the power that walking can have on an individual’s life. His daily walks are part of a personal and community connection that has kept him active well into his 10th decade of life. Donald Bean is a walking advocate worth celebrating today and every day.
When asked what advice he would give to new walkers or to those that want to walk more, Mr. Bean says, “start walking and don’t interrupt it; do it every day; do it at a convenient time and give it the time it needs. If you’re young enough you ought to jog.” He explains that you’re hardly aware of it when you’re in the habit of doing it and then walking becomes the easy choice. “Walking is a way to get you somewhere that you need to go while getting the benefits of walking,” he goes on.
Mr. Bean also thinks that promoting the benefits of walking to children is incredibly important. This is echoed by the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) who recommend 60 minutes or physical activity for children each day. The CDC even gives guidelines for how to make physical activity part of a child’s life. He believes that if we educate them when they are young and provide them with opportunities to walk and jog it will lead to better health and active adult lives.
According to a research brief released by Active Living Research in 2015, school policies that support daily physical education and regular activity breaks during the school day can help increase physical activity, improve academic performance and improve classroom behavior among students. The infographic shows the impact that 20 minutes of walking can have on a child’s brain while taking a test. Because children spend so much of their time at school, the school has a unique opportunity, and maybe even an obligation, to help children become healthier and more active as they grow.
Recommended Resources for Additional Information
- Resources for Promotion and Education of Walking (America Walks)
- Making Physical Activity a Part of a Child’s Life (CDC)
- Create a Safe Routes to School Program (America Walks)
- Active Kids Learn Better (Active Living Research)
- Start a Walking School Bus (Walking School Bus)
- Webinar: Why Walking? (America Walks)