Benefits of WalkArlington’s 8-Week Walking Challenge

headshot for mary dallao program manager walkarlington arlington va
Mary Dallao Tweet Us @WalkArlington@WalkArlington January 21, 2021

Mary Dallao is the Program Manager for WalkArlington. She loves being outdoors and can often be found walking or running on one of Arlington’s beautiful trails.

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With over 500 participants, WalkArlington’s 8-Week Walking Challenge proved to have its benefits. Sign up to join our next challenge in the spring.

In our first 8-Week Walkng Challenge, 500+ people joined us in walking thirty minutes a day for eight weeks. As we gear up for the next challenge, we went back and took a look at what some of the participants had to say about the program.

WalkArlington's 8 Week Walking Challenge

Walking Is a Great Way to Re-Engage with Regular Exercise

We get it. The idea of exercising can be daunting, however, walking (virtually) with a group of like-minded people can help to make the experience more enjoyable, even for those who don’t like exercising. One participant commented, “I hate working out but I’m actually doing this challenge.” Walking allows each individual to pace themselves and build themselves up if movement is difficult for them.

Building Community Can Happen Without Being Physically Together

Although our walking challenge was an online experience, hundreds enjoyed getting to know each other virtually. In our private group chat, participants got to know one another by sharing pictures of peoples’ dogs, families, favorite hidden spots, and walking gear – we even got pictures of garden gnomes and kindness rocks. Many program participants have stayed in touch, sharing tips with each other of their favorite places to walk.

Accountability Partners Are Helpful When Trying to Achieve a Goal

Many program participants said that logging their daily walks or receiving accountability check-ins was motivating. Others said seeing fellow participants posting their daily walks in the private Facebook group inspired them to get out there to go walking themselves, even on days they didn’t feel like it. One person said: “I’ve never had group support work for me the way this group has.” Having the sense of community is a good motivator in achieving goals.

Planning and Fitting Walks into Your Daily Routine Can Help You Establish a Habit

Many participants established a routine for walking, as we suggested they do with the curated walking plans that we provided to each participant. They fit their walks into their schedules and made physical activity a priority. “Knowing it’s ok to break it down in smaller chunks has saved me from skipping,” said one walker. Another participant shared all of the times she replaced a driving trip with a walking trip.

Sign Up to Join the Next Walking Challenge

Need accountability partners? Want to incorporate exercise into your daily routine? Want to join an uplifting community of people? Commit to building healthier habits in the 8-Week Walking Challenge this spring. Sign-up for program updates below.

Photo Credit:

Sam Kittner/

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