Step into a Happy, Healthy Heart

Your heart will thank you for getting out and exploring our neighborhoods, parks, and woodlands.

Guess which physical activity has the lowest dropout rate? According to the American Heart Association, it's walking!

Walking is also one of the simplest activities that can help improve your heart health. There are countless health benefits of walking at least 30 minutes a day, including improving blood pressure and blood sugar levels and reducing your risk of coronary heart disease and osteoporosis.

Feet First walks provide an enjoyable way to explore your environment and community in a different, more intimate way. 

At Feet First, we believe that walking not only improves your health, but also builds community and helps the environment. Since 2001, we have worked to ensure all communities in Washington are walkable—creating better places to live, learn, shop, work, and play.

Walking in your community is a healthy and sustainable mode of transportation promoting neighborhood safety and unity. More people out walking means more eyes on the street. Walking bolsters neighborhood pride and social connections.

Do you want to get involved, but you're not sure where to start? The City of Seattle's Encore Walking page for people age 50+ is a great resource for older adults in King County. There are postings for ongoing walking groups and events to keep you on your feet and moving. Visit www.seattle.gov/walking.

Feet First's popular Kubota Garden Art Walks series with artist-in-residence Mary Magenta began in summer 2012 and have continued into the new year. 

Another step to incorporate walking into your life is by picking up a Feet First "Neighborhoods on Foot" walking map. You'll be sure to discover neighborhood gems, learn about walking time between destinations, and find new routes to your established haunts. "Neighborhoods on Foot" walking maps are available throughout King County. If you don't see a map where you live, talk with us about creating one for your neighborhood.

Following are additional walking opportunities at Feet First to help you keep fit, meet other people and have fun!

  • Join a Walk: Feet First hosts many walks across King County that are free and fun. Walking together is a great way to learn about your community and meet new people. Two upcoming events are Kubota Garden (learn about art and nature on February 3, 2013) and Stairway Walks Day (get above it all on February 9, 2013).
  • Lead a Walk: Are you passionate about walking in your neighborhood? Do you want to encourage your neighbors to talk about what walking means for your community? Become a Neighborhood Walking Ambassador and lead regular group walks open to people of all ages and abilities. The walks provide opportunities to highlight enjoyable routes and trails, talk about walking issues in the neighborhood, and educate others about the many benefits of walking.
  • Take Action: People in walkable communities are healthier, happier, and more connected. As we face growing challenges to our health and to the environment, places to walk are more important than ever. Transportation Advocacy Day is a great way to take action to build more walkable communities:
  • Share Your Experience: Feet First prepares and facilitates walking audits as a tool for a community to improve safety and attractiveness for walking. These audits can be brief and simple, or can be extensively planned to include Department of Transportation or Public Works staff, Council Members, public safety, neighborhood representatives etc. Conduct your own Walking Audit using the new Walk Score app.
  • Learn More: Visit the Feet First website anytime to learn about upcoming events and opportunities, call 206-652-2310 ext. 5, or stop by our office to pick up a free "Neighborhoods on Foot" walking map.

Your heart will thank you!


Author Lisa Quinn, executive director of Feet First, is passionate about increasing the number of people becoming active, while taking care of our planet.