STARK WALKS

WALK, it's good for you!

HISTORY
In 2015, Live Well Stark County (LWSC) conducted audits in the Northeast area of Canton. This resulted in the development of 4 urban walking routes, designated as the Stark Walks routes. With a goal to increase physical activity in Stark County, under the Creating Healthy Communities grant, LWSC decided to expand and include routes in Southeast Canton as well. In the summer of 2016, United Way of Greater Stark County and LWSC partnered on this collaboration. They combined resources and increased the amount of routes available to the public throughout the county.

ABOUT
Pedestrian-friendly pathways encourage safe exercise. With signs that indicate distance and approximate travel time, individuals can measure their walking distance and time spent being physically active within their own neighborhood. Urban pathways - or green streets - are a free, easy way to participate in physical activity. Walking burns calories, improves fitness abilities, elevates mood and strengthens bones and muscles. Walking also reduces the risk of developing chronic diseases such as heart disease, high blood pressure and Type 2 diabetes.

GOAL
The purpose of these walking paths is to inspire residents and create new places to exercise. Everyone is encouraged to take a step in the right direction - walk the paths, explore your community, get great exercise and be healthy! Create a culture of happier, healthier, longer life! Let’s work together to reduce health risks in Stark County.


According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), only half of American adults engage in the daily physical activity necessary to prevent the development of chronic disease. About one-third of children and adolescents ages 6 to 19 are considered to be overweight or obese. In Stark County, 31% of adults are considered obese while 36% are overweight (BRFSS, 2010). The Surgeon General of the United States has created the Step It Up! initiative to promote more walking and more walkable communities.

According to their physical activity guidelines, the CDC recommends that adults participate in at least 30 minutes of moderate to intense aerobic activity 5 days a week plus an additional 2 days or more of muscle strengthening activity.

Walking is a gentle, low-impact exercise that works off calories consumed and makes you feel better, mentally and physically. Below are some of the foods people consume and the average minutes needed
to work off those calories.

The key to achieving and maintaining a healthy weight isn’t about short-term dietary changes. It’s about a lifestyle that includes healthy eating, regular physical activity, and balancing the number of calories you consume with the number of calories your body uses. Staying in control of your weight contributes to good health now and as you age. - www.cdc.gov


CONSIDERATIONS WHEN WALKING

Choose proper footwear
Stretch before and after walking to
prevent injury
Set realistic and appropriate goals
Wear layered clothing
Carry a few essentials
Stay hydrated
Protect yourself from the weather
Be visible with reflective or bright clothing
Walk with a friend
Be careful, alert and aware at all times
Keep right, unless to pass
Use audible warnings when passing
Be respectful of all users
Slower traffic has the right of way
Use lights when walking in the dark
Do not block trail
Use safe speeds at all times
Do not litter - use trash cans
Control dogs - scoop all poop


STAY MOTIVATED

Set goals
Get support
Track progress
Review your goals
Pick nonfood rewards
Be patient with yourself
Look ahead


Stark Walks creates urban walking routes, combining resources to increase the number of pedestrian paths available to the public throughout the county. Urban pathways - or green streets - are a free, easy way for local residents to participate in physical activity. These pathways encourage people to explore their community, exercise and enjoythe benefits of a healthier lifestyle.

• United Way of Greater Stark County • Stark County Health Department • Live Well Stark County