National Walk at Lunch Day – April 27, 2016

Happy Spring!

Here at the Vermont Department of Health, we are always looking at data to gauge how we are doing, and to see where more work is needed. This month we learned that in 2013, 42% of Vermont adults were not sufficiently active or were inactive when compared to the Centers for Disease Control’s recommended amount of physical activity of 150 minutes per week. This is an area that needs attention from us all as we support Vermonters in building healthy habits. We also learned that half of adult Vermonters who engaged in physical activity in 2013 chose walking as their primary form of exercise. We are pleased that walking, a simple and effective way of staying healthy, is the choice of so many!

In this month’s newsletter you will find many ways to get active at work, school and in your community, including walking and biking. Take advantage of the spring weather and get outside!

Walk at Lunch

April 27th, 2016 marks the 10th year of National Walk at Lunch Day – an event hosted by Blue Cross Blue Shield  to promote physical activity during the work and school day. Walking has multiple benefits for both physical and emotional health. Read more…
     Schools Update:


Looking for a healthy way to start the day? Jump-start your morning by biking to school with your child! Join schools around Vermont in celebrating National Bike to School Day on May 4th, 2016. Don’t forget that your skin and head need protection, too! Wear your helmet and sunscreen and be sure to include this in your Bike to School Day.

  • The new Safe Routes to School (SRTS) website has launched. Check out all the great resources to sustain you program. New to SRTS? They have something for you, too, from resource guides and promotional materials, to technical support.
  • Way To Go week is a two week challenge for your school to go toe-to-toe against carbon pollution and win by shifting from private vehicles to greener modes. Bike, walk, carpool or ride the bus to victory! The 2016 challenge will take place  between September 26th and October 7th, which overlaps with International Walk to School Day. One lucky school will win an AllEarth Solar Tracker valued at over $30,000. Check out challenge eligibility here.
  • Venture Vermont Outdoor Challenge 2016 is on. Are you ready for the challenge? The annual Vermont program involves an outdoor scavenger hunt for children and adults alike, and includes activities such as identifying amphibians, mapping GPS coordinates, and making camp supplies out of found materials.

Explore Vermont’s Parks This Spring
Spring is one of the best times of year to enjoy the outdoors in Vermont no matter what your age or ability. With warmer temperatures and longer hours of daylight, mornings, afternoons and evenings are options for getting outdoors and being active.

Vermont towns offer a wide variety of free recreational opportunities. Take a few minutes to look up on-line or call your local town office to find out about parks, fields, playgrounds, beaches, and trails that are available to explore. Make a pledge to yourself to check out a new spot or two this spring, and invite friends or family members to join you. If you live in a small town without a recreation department, consider exploring neighboring towns or going to a Vermont state park . Some state parks have trails open now for hiking and all parks will officially open in May.

A great resource to use all year round is the Vermont Trail Finder. Click the type of activity you want to do (walk, hike, bike, snowshoe, ski, even paddling!), level of difficulty, and location throughout Vermont and New Hampshire and get a very detailed description of the trail, often with maps and photos!    
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