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Shoes of walking personWalk. See where it takes you.

Walking is an easy, inexpensive way to add activity to your daily routine. Learn more about its health advantages and how to get started.

Why Walk?  Because: 

  • It makes you feel good.
  • It’s easy. Almost everyone can do it.
  • It costs little or no money.       
  • It’s fun and social. You can include family and friends.
  • You can walk almost anywhere at anytime.
  • You don’t have to join a gym or make time to take an exercise class.

Health Benefits of Walking

Taking a brisk walk for 30 to 60 minutes on most days (5+) of the week has been shown to have many health benefits:

  • Reduces the risk of coronary heart disease and stroke
  • Lowers blood pressure
  • Reduces high cholesterol
  • Reduces body fat
  • Enhances mental well being
  • Increases bone density, helping to prevent osteoporosis
  • Reduces the risk of breast and colon cancer
  • Reduces the risk of non insulin-dependent diabetes
  • Helps to control body weight
  • Reduces symptoms of osteoarthritis
  • Improves flexibility and co-ordination
  • Builds energy
  • Helps build and maintain bones, muscles, and joints
  • Reduces stress
  • Tones and strengthens muscles
  • Improves sleep habits

Every walk you take makes it harder for diabetes to keep up!

Walking can add years to your life.  Studies have shown that getting out and walking two hours a week or more can lower the risk of mortality from diabetes and can help to manage the disease.
Tips for adults with diabetes

Take your child for a walk.  You’ll all sleep better.

Walking is a good way for the whole family to stay fit and to help your kids develop a healthy lifetime habit. It’s also an easy, free way to spend time together as a family.

  • Use pedometers for a friendly family competition.  Boston Steps offers free pedometers to Boston residents.
  • If you have school-age children and live within walking distance of their school, add walking them to school to your morning routine.  You’ll assure they start their day more alert, and be getting in some of your own daily steps at the same time.  Older children may be able to walk to school by themselves or with neighborhood friends.
  • Take your kids to a destination that involves walking or hiking once you have arrived. Check out the links below for parks and green spaces in or near Boston.

Add miles to your life.  Go for a walk.

Older adults who take up walking on a regular basis can feel better – and add years to their lives. Regular walking can improve balance and walking gate, reduce the risk of falls, and help manage arthritis, in addition to its other health benefits.

Get Started with a Walking Routine

Set a walking goal. State what you want to do. (“Over time, I am going to increase the number of steps I take each day by 2000.”)

  • Make sure your goal is realistic. Be willing to adjust it if needed.
  • Think about how you spend your day. Turn some of your downtime into walking time.
  • Make a list of actions you need to take to achieve your goal.
  • Imagine yourself doing it. Keep thinking “I can do this.”
  • Reward yourself when you reach your goal.

Use a pedometer to keep track of your daily steps. Pedometers are easy to use and are a great way to track your progress.  Boston Steps offers free pedometers to Boston residents.  Think of a routine physical activity that will add additional steps in your day.  For example, walk up or down the stairs at work, on the T, or doing errands. ​

Boston Public Health Commission
1010 Massachusetts Ave, 6th Floor, Boston, MA 02118.
Phone:(617) 534-5395 Email: