How to Start a Keep Moving Walking Club

How to Start a Keep Moving Walking Club

Walking alone gives you an opportunity to carve some time out of a hectic day for yourself. You can achieve fitness while listening to favorite tunes or taking time to reflect on your surroundings. But sometimes you may find greater success in numbers.
If it’s difficult for you to maintain your motivation by yourself, consider joining a walking group. If there’s no group to join, start your own.
Walking with a group gives you an opportunity to socialize. And having new friends who enjoy walking can inspire you and hold you accountable to your own walking goals.  Starting a group doesn’t require much. Spread the word, get organized — before you know it, you and your group are taking steps toward better health.
1. Spread the word: Recruit interested walkers.  Hold a meeting to kick off the start of your group. Decide when and where you want to have your meeting. Consider holding the meeting at a public location such as the local council on aging, library or community Center. That way you don’t have to worry about inviting strangers into your home.  Next, create a flier to announce your meeting. Include time, location and a telephone
number if you don’t mind taking calls.
You might post your flier at these locations:
Mall — Post office– Church, mosque, synagogue or temple– Community center–housing development mail boxes –Workplaces– Barber shops / hair salons –Coffee shops– Health club —
Senior center
Besides posting a flier, consider advertising in your local newspaper, classified ads or on a community Internet site.
2. Get organized at your first meeting.  Warmly greet all potential members of the group and request that everyone wear a name tag. Ask guests to provide their name, address, phone number and e-mail address so that you can contact them about upcoming events. Then get down to business. Discuss:
  • How often to walk
  • What time and where to meet
  • The routes to take and how often you will vary the routes
  • The distance you plan to cover
You may want to get more organized as the momentum of your group builds. Examples include recruiting a second club co-leader, plus:
  • Deciding on a name for your group and designing a team logo
  • Developing a newsletter
  • Entering charity walking events as a group or joining in group walks with other walking clubs.
  • Competing with in the group, or with other walking groups, for distance walked or money raised for charity.
Group members may have more ideas, too.
3. Maintain your group’s momentum.  As the group leader, encourage the group to have a motivational meeting at least once a month. Motivational activities may include:
  • Inviting a guest speaker to discusses health and fitness
  • Sharing stories about how walking affects your physical and mental health
  • Welcoming new members
  • Sharing walking journal distances walked by club members and celebrating the success of the group
The best bet is to ask the group what sort of activities would inspire and motivate them and get them involved in making the activities happen.
4. Enjoy yourself.  The camaraderie you experience in a walking group can help you stay on track with walking for fitness. And the new friends you make can make it well worth the effort.
Source: http://everybodywalk.org/start-your-own-walking-group

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Massachusetts Councils
on Aging

116 Pleasant Street, Suite 306
Easthampton, MA 01027
Telephone: 413-527-6425
Fax: 413-527-7138