The weather is getting cooler and the leaves are falling. While it can be hard to say goodbye to the warmer days, now is the perfect time to get out and go for a walk.
There are 30 official American Heart Association designated walking paths in Monroe County. Many of the paths are sponsored by Excellus BlueCross BlueShield. Residents are encouraged to use these AHA-designated paths to walk for 30 minutes a day.
“When people want to get healthy, they often try dramatic changes,” said Janette Westman, workplace wellness consultant at Excellus BCBS. “But it’s the small changes, like making a goal to walk more every day, that lead to longer-lasting benefits.”
The establishment of the walking paths is the AHA’s national initiative that champions walking because it has the lowest dropout rate of any physical activity. Some of the Monroe County walking paths can be found at:
—Chili’s Union Park
—Fairport Public Library
—Johanna Perrin Middle School in Fairport
—Around the perimeter of the Ogden Farmers Library
—Webster Park
—Mendon Ponds Park, including Quaker Pond Trail Loop and Nature Trail Birdsong & Swamp Trail.
—Ellison Park, including Indian Landing Trail and Overlook Trail.
“Walking for as little as 30 minutes a day will improve circulation, lower cholesterol and blood pressure, and promote weight loss,” said Jason Stulb, senior corporate relations director, Rochester American Heart Association. “Walking with others helps set and keep your goals, you have someone to celebrate accomplishments with and it is free to walk!”
In the Finger Lakes region, about two in three adults are overweight or obese, according to a 2015 study by Excellus BCBS. New York state’s adult obesity rate is also on pace to hit 50 percent by 2030, according to the report.
“A simple hike through the woods can have big benefits for people who struggle with issues related to stress and weight management,” said Westman.
For maps of many of the walking trails throughout Monroe County: