College of Agriculture & Natural Resources

UMD Extension Encourages Residents to Get Walking on October 7

University of Maryland Extension encourages all Marylanders to take part in the Maryland state exercise on October 7th.

University of Maryland Extension (UME) is partnering with the state Department of Mental Health and Hygiene and the state Department of Education to promote Walk Maryland Day on October 7th, calling on Marylanders of all ages to lace up their sneakers and participate in the state’s official exercise.

Historically, October 7 has been designated national Walk to School Day, a day when students of all ages are encouraged to get to school on foot rather than drive or ride the bus. This year, UME is taking the event a bit further, expanding it to involve all Marylanders as part of the organization’s Walk MD! program that encourages participants to “Get Fit! Get Healthy! Get Moving!”

 Individuals, teams and schools can register to log their miles, keep track of where they walk on the site’s 500 mile statewide map, and create inter-group challenges and competitions to accomplish school and office activity goals. 

Walk Maryland Day coincides with the U.S. Surgeon General’s most recent Step It Up! call to action promoting walking as a means to overcome health challenges such as heart disease and diabetes. Health experts say walking can also reduce blood sugar and blood pressure levels, improve cholesterol, maintain a healthy body weight, enhance mental well-being, and reduce the risk of osteoporosis and other diet-related chronic diseases.

 “Walk MD is about more than increasing an individual’s physical activity through walking,” said Lisa Gonzalez, a UME Family and Consumer Sciences Agent. “It is our hope that this collaboration for Walk Maryland Day will also promote and support safe and accessible walking opportunities in Maryland through enhanced state agency coordination.”

Here are some easy ways to get involved in Walk Maryland Day:

  • Grab a friend and catch up over a stroll through the neighborhood.
  • Organize an event at your school to encourage kids to walk to school or take a school-wide walk during lunch.
  • Get your community or worksite together by hosting a walking event.
  • Participate in the Walk MD! challenge to travel 500 miles on a virtual walk throughout the state.

Individuals, groups and schools are encouraged to register online and get walking!

 

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