Take A Hike

Ever wonder why people who are about to jump on a treadmill or stationary bike choose to park in the space closest to the gym's front door? This phenomenon apparently bothered researchers from San Diego State University enough to conduct a nationally representative study on the walking habits of adult Americans.

10,461 people were surveyed by phone during 2002 and 2003 to determine their weekly frequency of walking for a duration of at least 10 minutes. 49% of Americans were defined as regular walkers; those walking 30 minutes a day 5 days a week. The breakdown between sexes was 51% men and 47% women. Walking participation was significantly higher among employed adults, and declined with increasing age and body mass index. There were no significant differences between races and only 17% of those surveyed said they never or rarely walked.

The Bigger Picture: With the price of gasoline approaching $4 per gallon, now's a great time to get into the habit of walking for health and fitness. If you need just a few convenience items, walk rather than drive those few blocks to the store. If it's a nice day, take the dog for a long walk in the park. This list of practical and recreational ways to get more involved in aerobic pursuits is limited only by your imagination.

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