Walking Today for a Healthier Tomorrow

By Lina Younes

As I mentioned in an earlier blog this year, I had decided that 2012 was the year that I was going to incorporate healthier habits into my daily living. I have not only made a conscious effort to eating healthier, but I definitely have become more active. So when I got an email at work about a “Walk to Wellness” event, I immediately signed up for it.

Just last week, we had our Walk to Wellness event at EPA in collaboration with other federal agencies. Over 100 employees came together to enjoy some outdoor activities and walk. We had a nice 1.5 mile route established for us from EPA headquarters, through the Ellipse, near the White House, and back. Although there was a possibility of rain, we were lucky to have an overcast day with temperatures that were just right. Not too hot, not too cold, just perfect for a nice walk.

Walking is an excellent way to get energized without having to go to the gym. You can actually walk anywhere. Since I’ve been trying to increase my daily activities, I got a pedometer to measure my progress. I look for any opportunity to just get up and walk. Need some suggestions? How about walking over to your colleague two cubes down to ask a question instead of simply shooting an email? How about going up or down a flight of stairs instead of taking the elevator? Once you take simple actions like this, you realize that those steps start adding up.

If you’re going to engage in outdoor activities, remember to check the Air Quality Index. Even when it’s overcast, use sunblock or a hat to protect yourself from dangerous UV rays. You can even check out the UV index forecast in your community to reduce the risk of overexposure while exercising outdoors.

It’s all part of getting healthier. Have you done anything special to become more active lately?

About the author: Lina Younes is the Multilingual Outreach and Communications Liaison for EPA. Among her duties, she’s responsible for outreach to Hispanic organizations and media. She spearheaded the team that recently launched EPA’s new Spanish website, www.epa.gov/espanol . She manages EPA’s social media efforts in Spanish. She’s currently the editor of EPA’s new Spanish blog, Conversando acerca de nuestro medio ambiente. Prior to joining the agency, she was the Washington bureau chief for two Puerto Rican newspapers and an international radio broadcaster. She has held other positions in and out of the Federal Government.