10 Tips for Getting Active

1. Make it Social

Walk or bicycle with friends, social groups, clubs, or combine walking or bicycling with another fun occasion, such as going to the movies, a concert, or sports event.

People running and biking along a path in Chicago, Ill.2. Vary your Routine

Walk or ride at different times of day, with different friends and neighbors. Walk your dog, or a friend's dog. Explore new routes and trails.

3. Plan a Special Long Walk or Bicycle Ride

Take a hike or ride to the beach, participate in an event (like 5K or 10k, or charity bicycle ride), go on a walking or bicycling tour of a foreign country or city, a religious pilgrimage, or go on a hike along the Appalachian Trail or a ride through a national park.

4. Find Places and Times to Walk or Bike that are Less Threatening

Take laps around your place of work during your lunch break, or walk around a mall or shopping center or bike around an office park in evening or on theweekend.

5. Find Safety in Numbers

Walking or bicycling with a group helps make you more visible to drivers and will provide a stronger deterrent to criminal activity.

6. Find Time

Even when you really can't seem to set aside a half hour for a walk, you CAN walk—find shorter segments of time where walking naturally fits into your schedule.Two bicyclists riding down a path along the Charles River in Boston.

7. Replace a Car Ride

If you're used to driving everywhere, this may take a little rethinking—try sitting down, looking at your calendar and list of places to go, and check off the places where you could walk or bicycle instead of driving. If you have a short errand to do, a meeting to attend, or a child to pick up, try walking or bicycling.

8. Consider the Benefits

If you're headed to see a movie, to worship, to a game, walk or ride. Although it may take a few minutes longer than normal, remind yourself of your efficient use of time: you're actually accomplishing several things at once.

9. Dress for the Weather

Great rain and snow gear is available as are hats and breathable fabrics for hot weather. If you live in an area that experiences extreme heat or cold, adjust your walking and bicycling routine to each season. In hot or humid areas, start your trip early, or go at dusk. In cold areas, walk or ride during the middle of the day—on your lunch break, or in the afternoon.

10. Keep a Daily Activity Log

Estimate the mileage you walked or biked or the minutes you spent doing something active. Technology can make this even easier. There are several smart phone apps and wristwatches that will track your walking or biking.