By now most of us know that a sedentary lifestyle is leading to increased rates of obesity, heart disease, diabetes, back pain and more. But finding the motivation to get moving, or just knowing where to start, can be tough. We thought we’d answer a few frequently asked questions about overcoming obstacles when it comes to this weeks challenge:
Q: I don’t own a fitness tracker. How can I track my steps?
A: There are tons of pedometers on the market, most for under $40. Check out this top-rated one on Amazon for just $23! You can also download an app for your smartphone - most of these are free.
Q: It’s tough to find anyone who wants to go on walks with me and I’m just not motivated to go on my own.
A: Have you heard of Meetup.com? This is a great site for finding like-minded people in your area. You can find everything from local gardening groups, car enthusiasts and new parents to extreme couponers! And yep, there’s a section for walking.
Q: What if I have physical limitations that make it tough for me to walk?
A: We’ve got just the resources for you! First, you can find wheelchair accessible hiking trails in your state at TrailLink.
Did you know that the National Parks Service offers a free Access Pass that provides lifetime entrance to more than 2,000 federal recreation sites. This pass is available to U.S. citizens or permanent residents who have a permanent disability. It covers entrance fees at national wildlife refuges and national parks. It also pays for day use fees at grasslands, national forests and properties managed by the Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Reclamation and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Note that you must must show proof of permanent disability and citizenship or residency to obtain the pass.
Other activities you can try are paddle activities. A company called Creating Ability makes adaptive paddling gear to help users feel more comfortable out on the water. Both kayaks and canoes can be outfitted with outriggers to give them more stability and prevent them from capsizing. They also makes paddles that are designed for people with reduced hand and wrist function. The company even makes equipment for amputees!
There are many other tools available to make getting outside something everyone can do -- from all-terrain wheelchairs to scooters and segways. Bottom line: where there’s a will, there’s a way.