Given the chance, will you walk?



With all the hubbub recently about “walkability” and mixed-use development, a thought struck me, as they sometimes do, that I just couldn’t shake – if I had the option of walking or driving somewhere, which would I chose?

I’d like to think I’d walk, but would I really? I’m not one for continuous exercise, to be sure. The only time I can recall walking to a location is if said location is no more than a few hundred yards from me. Across the street, or to the corner or whatever. Would I walk a mile?

I ask, because planners seem to think people will walk if given the choice. A lot of people don’t want to walk, so why would they exercise?

The Fulton County Cooperative Extension wants people to do both for the entire month of February.

Called “Walk Georgia,” the program wants to get people out and active. Even if it’s just walking the dog or taking a quick jog, it counts and can add up to real exercise after a while.

Walk Georgia is a 12-week program designed to increase physical activity in a fun and community-oriented way. Residents can participate as individuals and track their progress online at or form a team of four to exercise together.

“Walking, playing a game of basketball, aerobics or dancing, it does not matter how miles are accumulated, we just want people to start moving in order to improve their health and to live healthier lives,” said Menia Chester, director of Fulton County Cooperative Extension, a part of the University of Georgia.

The program period for Walk Georgia 2013 is Feb. 10 to May 4. The date to record final activity is May 10.

It’s an ambitious project, getting people to exercise. But then, I suppose the interstate system or the Great Wall of China were also ambitious projects, and they were both made by doing a little bit at a time. Could exercise be the same way? There’s really only one way to find out.

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