Walking 101


Walking Checklist

Before you leave the house for your walk, check to make sure you have with you:

  • Comfortable shoes
  • Weather appropriate clothes, including an umbrella
  • Money (in case you need to make a phone call, buy a bottle of water or choose to stop for lunch on your trip)
  • Identification card (driver’s license or other state issued ID)
  • MetroLink tickets (or money to purchase tickets)
  • Hat and/or sunglasses
  • Ten Toe Express travel bag
  • Ten Toe Express pedometer – make sure to reset your pedometer that morning
  • Cell phone (if you have one)
  • Walking map card for the day’s walk

Walk for your Health

Older adults, both male and female, can benefit from regular physical activity. Older adults can obtain important health benefits with a moderate amount of daily physical activity, such as walking. Walking has many great health benefits, such as:

  • Reduces the risk of falling and fracturing bones
  • Reduces the risk of dying from coronary heart disease
  • Reduces the risk of developing
    • High blood pressure
    • Colon cancer
    • Diabetes
  • May help control weight
  • May help maintain healthy bones, muscles, and joints.
  • May help reduce blood pressure in some people with hypertension
  • May help people with chronic, disabling conditions improve their stamina and muscle strength
  • May help control joint swelling and pain associated with arthritis

Walk for your Life

Walking has other benefits, including:

  • Reduces symptoms of anxiety and depression
  • Improves mood and feelings of well-being
  • May help you maintain the ability to live independently
  • May help improve mental alertness, memory, reaction time, and concentration
  • May help you sleep more soundly
  • May lengthen your lifespan

For more information, please visit http://www.cdc.gov/nccdphp/dnpa/

Walk Today, Walk Everyday
Link walking with using MetroLink or a Metro Bus!

  • Americans who use transit spend around 19 minutes a day walking to and from transit
  • 29% of Americans who use transit get 30 minutes of physical activity a day by walking to and from transit

GOAL: Aim for a minimum of 10,000 steps of brisk walking a day to receive the benefits of walking! By wearing your pedometer, you can count the number of steps you take throughout the day.

How can you reach your goal?

You can accumulate steps by:

  • Walking from your home to a MetroLink station
  • Taking the train to other neighborhoods and walking to reach destinations, such as museums, cafes and shopping centers
  • Using the walking tours in your walking kit to plan an outing with family or friends
  • Joining a weekly walking group that rides MetroLink to various destinations throughout the St. Louis area

Source: Besser LM, Dannenberg AL. Walking to Public Transit Steps to Help Meet Physical Activity Recommendations. American Journal of Preventive Medicine 2005;29(4):273-280.

What is a pedometer?

A pedometer is a device which counts each step a person takes. The steps are detected through movement at your waist.

Wearing Your Pedometer

You should attach your pedometer to your waistband about half-way between your side and your belly button on the waistband of your pants. If it is inline with your knee, then you’ve got it in a good spot.

To test that your pedometer is in the right place, reset it to 0 and manually count off 25 steps. Then, take a look at your pedometer. It should reflect no fewer than 24 steps and no more than 26. If it’s further off than that, move it to the left or right and re-try the test until the results more accurately reflect your actual number of steps.

Measuring the Number of Steps You Take
Start measuring your steps by pressing and holding the reset button. You should press the reset button once every morning when you get out of bed after you have recorded your steps on your walking log for the previous day. The max value on your pedometer is 99,999 steps.

Recording Your Steps
Simply wearing the pedometer is not enough. To be useful, pedometer readings must be recorded so you can see if you are meeting the step count goals you set for yourself. Develop a routine for putting on the pedometer first thing in the morning and for recording the steps when you take it off just before bedtime. Keep a pen and your weekly walking logs in a handy place so you are less likely to forget to write it down each night. Remember, your goal is to reach 10,000 steps every day!


PROBLEM: Not all your steps were detected

CAUSE and REMEDY: Try remounting the pedometer on your waistband and refer to the walking tips found in this manual to ensure your walking method is correct.

PROBLEM: Unclear display
CAUSE and REMEDY: Low Battery: Replacing new battery is necessary. OR The pedometer has been exposed to low temperatures, the normal display will recover when the temperatures rises.

PROBLEM: Screen is black
CAUSE and REMEDY: Pedometer had prolonged exposure to direct sunlight or operated in high temperatures too long. The normal display will recover into normal status in the shade.

Replacing the Battery
1. Unscrew battery cover 2. Remove the battery and replace with a new AG-13 battery. You can find these batteries at drug stores. 3. Close the battery cover. If your pedometer is not working, please call the Ten Toe Express staff at (314) 570-9652.

Start your walking off on the right foot!

Before beginning a walking routine, follow these simple tips:

  • Ask Your Doctor. It is always a good idea to check with your doctor before beginning any kind of physical activity program.
  • Warm Up and Stretch. It is important to start slowly to warm up your muscles and stretch your muscles before and after you walk.
  • Start Slowly. It is good to begin with shorter distances and to increase your distance over time.
  • Increase Slowly. To get the benefits of walking, you should increase the duration, intensity, or frequency of your walking over time.
    • Duration: Try to take more steps each time you go on a walking trip.
    • Intensity: Try to challenge yourself by walking up stairs or hills.
    • Frequency: Try to walk everyday and multiple times each day.
  • Pay Attention to Your Body. Your risk of injury may increase if you change your walking patterns too quickly, so pay attention to your body and don’t over-exert yourself.
  • Walk with Others. Walk with friends, family or people in your community to keep you motivated and make it more enjoyable.
  • Use a Pedometer. Wear a pedometer, set goals for the number of steps you take each day, and record these daily steps in your walking log.
  • Don’t be a Fair Weather Friend. If it is raining, snowing, hot or cold, find an indoor site for walking. Shopping malls, museums, and airports are great spots for leisurely indoor walks.

Did you know?

  • The loss of strength and stamina attributed to aging is in part caused by reduced physical activity.
  • Inactivity increases with age. By age 75, about one in three men and one in two women engage in no physical activity.
  • Among adults aged 65 years and older, walking and gardening or yard work are, by far, the most popular physical activities.
  • Social support from family and friends has been consistently and positively related to regular physical activity.

For more information, please visit http://www.cdc.gov/nccdphp/dnpa/

Walk This Way! Good form and posture will help you walk faster and longer.

Keep these five “S’s in mind!

  1. Strike! Your heel should hit the ground first. Take shorter or smaller steps to give you a better workout that is easier on your joints.
  2. Swing! Swinging your arms as you walk will help get your heart pumping and increase the intensity of the walk. Keep your hands in a lightly curled fist, but do not clench.
  3. Stretch! Stand up tall with your chin parallel to the ground. Avoid tilting your head back, especially when walking up hills. Tilting your head can strain your neck.
  4. Support! To help support your posture and lower back, contract your stomach muscles slightly. This will help to prevent straining your lower back.
  5. Speed! To determine if you are walking at an appropriate speed, use the talk test. If you can sing a song, you are walking too slowly. If you are unable to hold a conversation, you probably should slow your pace.

For more information, please visit http://www.aarp.org/health/fitness/

Linking Your Feet to MetroLink! Tips for riding the MetroLink:

  • Plan your trip prior to going to the station. Check time tables either on line at www.metrostlouis.org or obtain a printed timetable from a library of MetroRide Store.
  • Arrive 5 – 10 minutes early to the MetroLink station to make sure you are on the right train. Also, look for the headsign on the front of the train to ensure that you are getting on the correct train.
  • You must have a MetroLink pass, ticket or other proof of payment before you can enter the station platform, so check twice for your pass before you leave for your trip. If you need to purchase additional passes or tickets, look for a Ticket Vending Machine at the station and follow the directions marked on the machine.
  • If your pass needs to be validated, look for the red validation machine and insert your pass into the slot on the top of the machine.
  • While waiting for your train, stand away from the raised rubber or metal strip indicating the edge of the platform. As you board, be careful to avoid the gap between the train and the platform.
  • Make sure that clothing, travel bags, and other personal items are clear of the closing doors and keep them close to you to prevent theft.
  • After boarding your train, take a seat and enjoy the ride to your stop. Remember, do not smoke, eat or drink on the MetroLink.
  • Listen for the driver to announce each station as the train arrives and exit carefully after the doors have opened.

Safety First!

  • Walk in well-lit areas and keep your personal belongings secure.
  • Carry identification and emergency contact information.
  • Drink lots of water.
  • Wear reflective clothing and shoes if possible or be sure to wear brightly colored clothing.
  • Stop exercising if you experience severe pain or swelling.
  • Wear a hat and sunglasses and definitely use sunscreen to shield yourself from the sun. Remember, even on cloudy days, you are still exposed to the sun’s harmful rays.
  • Use paths and sidewalks when available. If you walk on or near a road, remember to walk facing oncoming traffic so you and the driver can see each other.
  • Be alert when crossing intersections.
  • Allow yourself plenty of time to cross the street.
  • Be aware of turning vehicles and make sure they see you crossing the street.

If the Shoe Fits!

  • Shop for comfort, not size. Choose shoes based on how they feel rather than by the size marked inside. Sizes may vary by brand or type of shoe, so make sure you have enough room in the toe and that your shoes fit snugly around your heels. Remember to try on both shoes!
  • Lace it up. Shoes with laces allow you to adjust the fit of your shoes and keep them from slipping off while walking.
  • Minimize your pain. If you have back, knee, or heel pain, choose a supportive shoe with cushioning under the heel. If you have bunions or arthritis, stick with a softer, wider shoe. o Be sure to wear shoes designed for walking. Other athletic shoes are not designed for back-to-front movement.
  • Buy shoes at the end of the day. Because your feet swell throughout the day, you will find the best fit after you have finished your daily activities.
  • Do not expect shoes to stretch. If the shoes are too tight, do not buy them. Although they may stretch out over time, wearing shoes that do not fit right can cause foot pain and damage.