Diabetes Self-Management Articles

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All About Walking

by Quinn Phillips

(210) 659-2112
The American Volkssport Association is a nationwide network of roughly 300 local recreation clubs, which hold walking events (and occasional biking, skiing, and swimming events) that are open to the public. Visitors to the website can learn about the organization, find a local club and its events, and learn how to start a club if there is not one close by.

Tools and tidbits
MapMyWalk allows visitors to calculate the distance of a walking route by tracing it on a map; it works for any location in the world covered by Google maps.

On this website, you can find out how conducive a neighborhood is to walking by typing in an address. Based on the proximity of grocery stores, parks, schools, restaurants, libraries, and more, the site generates a score of 0–100 for the location. The neighborhood’s attractions are also listed by category (schools, coffee shops, etc.) with their distance from the originating address; they are shown on a map of the neighborhood, as well.

This web page, from the New York State Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee, goes over the basics of safely crossing streets and following signs and traffic signals.

This web page features 10 tips for selecting the right pair of walking shoes.

Community action
(503) 757-8342
America Walks provides support to local groups that advocate making their communities more walkable. It also aims to educate the public about the benefits of walking and of walkable communities. The website provides the contact information for local groups and outlines steps that can be taken to start a “walkable community” movement.

This is the walking website of the Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center, a national clearinghouse for information about all aspects of walking and biking. There are sections on the benefits of walking, walking safety facts, and ways to improve access to walking and pedestrian safety. One prominent feature is a “walkability checklist” that can be used to determine how conducive your neighborhood is to walking, and how to improve any problems that you find. You can also use the site to search for and contact your local or state pedestrian/bicycle transportation coordinator.

If you would like a personal response to a question about walking or bicycling, you can e-mail the Pedestrian and Bicycle Information center at info@pedbikeinfo.org.

Walk Bike to School organizes an annual Walk to School Day to bring attention to both the benefits of walking and the need for safe routes. In 2014, Walk to School Day is Wednesday, October 8. Schools can register for the event online, and participating schools receive support and downloadable materials from the organization.

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