Family walk with stroller

Help your health-make time for walking

Regular exercise may help improve memory later in life

Geocaching

Want to get your family out for a day of adventure and exercise? You need to try geocaching (geo-cashing). Geocaching is a real-life, worldwide game of finding hidden treasure. Here’s how it works: a player (geocacher) places a geocache anywhere in the world and then marks the location using GPS technology. The geocacher then goes online and shares the location of the geocache using GPS coordinates. All you need to find it is a GPS device, some time, and the desire for a little (or a lot of) adventure.

Here’s how to get started:

Register for free membership at www.geocaching.com.

  1. Register for free membership at www.geocaching.com.
  2. Click “Hide & Seek a Cache.”
  3. Enter your search parameters and click “search.”
  4. Choose any geocache from the list and click on its name. Follow any instructions on the cache page.
  5. Enter the coordinates of the geocache into your GPS device.
  6. Use your GPS device to help you find the hidden geocache.
  7. Sign the logbook and return the geocache to its original location.
  8. Share your geocaching stories and photos online.

Geocaching-a day of fun for the family

Trails Across Pennsylvania

ExplorePAtrails.com is an interactive trails website "powered by you." Sponsored by the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR), this website allows you to interact with others, write reviews, find trails near you, and more.

PENN DOT Smart Transportation Guidebook

www.smart-transportation.com/assets/download/Smart%20Transportation%20Guidebook.pdf

The Smart Transportation Guidebook, published in March 2008, was developed through a partnership between PennDOT and the New Jersey Department of Transportation. The goal of the Guidebook is to integrate the planning and design of our transportation system in a manner that fosters development of sustainable and livable communities. The Guidebook has equal applicability to rural, suburban and urban areas.

Safe Routes to School Online Guide

http://guide.saferoutesinfo.org

This guide is a comprehensive online reference manual designed to support the development of Safe Routes to School (SRTS) programs. It provides links to other SRTS publications and training resources. Readers of the online guide can pick and choose specific topics based on their interests and needs, such as guidelines for adult school crossing guards, tools to create school route maps, and ways to include children with disabilities in SRTS initiatives.

The Walking School Bus Guide: Combining Safety, Fun and the Walk to School

http://guide.saferoutesinfo.org/walking_school_bus/index.cfm

This guide is intended for parents, teachers, public health educators, bicycle clubs, Safe Route to School coordinators, law enforcement officers and others who care about increasing the number of children who walk and bicycle to school in a safe manner. Any one or combination of these individuals can lead a walking school bus program. This guide outlines the benefits of starting a walking school bus as well as points to consider before launching it. Two general ways to conduct a walking school bus are described: (1) starting simple with a small group of friends or neighbors or (2) creating a more structured program to reach more children. The benefits, considerations and variations of each are detailed so that organizers can choose the approach that matches local needs. For communities with interest in starting a bicycle train, additional considerations are highlighted. Examples of real-life walking school buses and bicycle trains are included to provide ideas and inspiration.

National Complete Streets Coalition website

www.completestreets.org

Complete Streets are designed and operated to enable safe access for all users. Instead of fighting for better streets block by block, the National Complete Streets Coalition seeks to fundamentally transform the look, feel, and function of the roads and streets in our community, by changing the way most roads are planned, designed, and constructed. Complete Streets policies direct transportation planners and engineers to consistently design with all users in mind, in line with the elements of Complete Streets policies.

Social Support for Physical Activity.  Establishing a Community-Based Walking Group Program to Increase Physical Activity Among Youth and Adults:  An Action Guide 

www.prevent.org/Topics.aspx?eaID=5&topicID=45

This Action Guide provides information on the resources and key steps to establish a community-based walking group program. Walking groups are a way of fostering social support, which arises from social networks and relationships in social settings outside the family that helps in coping, managing stress, and changing behaviors such as increasing physical activity. Social support can be an important influence on an individual’s overall health and well-being, and a walking group program can help individuals initiate and maintain physical activity by providing needed companionship and support. Walking groups can accommodate a diverse range of individuals, including young people or adults and those sedentary or previously physically active.

Places for Physical Activity.  Facilitating Development of a Community Trail and Promoting Its use to Increase Physical Activity Among Youth and Adults:  An Action Guide

www.prevent.org/Topics.aspx?eaID=5&topicID=45

This Action Guide provides information on the resources and key steps that will help facilitate the development of a community trail and promote its use among youth and adults. Modifying the environments where people live and work is effective in helping people incorporate healthier behaviors into their daily lives. This can be done by creating new places for physical activity or enhancing access to existing places. Informational outreach activities promote the use of places by raising awareness of their existence or providing guidance on how to use them. Although there are many options for modifying the environment to allow for increased physical activity, community trails have a unique advantage in that they can accommodate different types of physical activity by people of all ages. Public health coalitions; businesses; departments of parks, recreation, transportation, and planning; community agencies and organizations; and legislators can facilitate implementation of such environmental changes to increase opportunities for physical activity.

Walk Friendly Communities Walkability Assessment Tool

www.walkfriendly.org/WalkFriendlyCommunitiesAssessmentTool.pdf

Walk Friendly Communities is a national recognition program developed to encourage towns and cities across the U.S. to establish or recommit to a high priority for supporting safer walking environments. The WFC program will recognize communities that are working to improve a wide range of conditions related to walking, including safety, mobility, access, and comfort.  In order to be recognized as a Walk Friendly Community, a Walkability Assessment must be performed.  The purpose of this assessment is twofold; it serves to both recognize existing walkable communities and to provide a framework for communities seeking to improve their walkability. This tool recognizes communities which have achieved high levels of walking and low rates of pedestrian crashes while also recognizing communities which are making progress in achieving these two goals through policies, projects and programs. Recognizing that there are many ways to achieve these outcomes, the range of questions in this tool attempts to capture the variety of factors that affect walkability.