Walking is not only a great for your health, it is also a way to stand up for what you believe in.
This year marks the 50th anniversary of the historic March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom on August 28, 1963, when more than 200,000 people gathered at the National Mall in Washington, D.C. to march in protest of racial discrimination and call for the desegregation of public schools, protection of the right to vote, and a federal program to reduce unemployment. It was on this day that Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his famous "I Have a Dream" speech from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. Click below to watch Dr. King's famous address:
The demonstration led to the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and serves as a model for democratic action.
What is most inspirational about this event is that it was made up of individuals with a shared desire for social justice who came together to have a lasting impact on the nation.
In honor of march participants' courage, ditch the treadmill this weekend and walk with a purpose.
3 Ways to Walk with a Purpose
- Walk for political change: Exercise your freedom of assembly and join with others to show your support of issues that are important to you. This Saturday August 24, the National Action to Realize the Dream March will commemorate the efforts of 50 years ago and continue the fight for justice. Participants will assemble on the National Mall to raise awareness on unemployment, immigration, gay rights, environmental justice, and other critical issues affecting our nation. What issues would you walk for?
- Walk to raise funds for a cause: Each year members of my familia gather donations and lace up their tennis shoes for the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life, a walk which raises money for cancer research and serves as a platform for survivors to celebrate their struggle and families and friends to remember lost loved ones.
- Walk to remember: Strolling along DC's national monuments inspires me to be grateful for the liberties I enjoy as a result of others' struggles. The 50th Anniversary is a perfect time to check out the newest monument in DC, dedicated to Martin Luther King, Jr.
Many pressing issues in our society today require attention and action--including the current obesity epidemic. Today in the United States, more than 1/3 of adults are obese and youth are projected to live shorter lives than their parents.
What can you do about it? Walk--not just to raise awareness, but to maintain your personal health. Walking for 30 minutes a day helps reduce your risk of heart disease, diabetes, and obesity, as I mention in Fitness SLIDESHOW: National Walking Day. Take a stand for health by staying physically active, and you will inspire those around you to do the same.
When we walk together, we can change the nation.
¿Need workout inspiration? Click here to read more of my fitness suggestions.
A teacher by day, The Wise Latina Club’s Natalie Wagner Fierro is the co-founder of the Institute for Student Health. She equally loves food (cooking or dining in Washington’s restaurants) and burning calories by distance running, practicing yoga, and archery. Click here to read more about and connect with Natalie.
Edited by: Viviana Hurtado, Ph.D.
For what cause will you walk or run?