National Walking Day is every year on the first Wednesday in April. National Walking Day is exactly as it sounds – a day to celebrate the easiest way to be the healthiest version of you. Walking for thirty to sixty minutes per day may sound like it isn’t much, but studies have shown that it can drastically improve your health and even help prevent ailments such as type II diabetes, cancer, and heart disease.
History of National Walking Day
Walking has always been a part of being human. Many archaeologists have found that even when humans were nomadic tribes, we would often walk great distances to stalk our prey (think Wooly Mammoths) and wait for them to sleep before pouncing. Walking is, essentially, what humans are physically we best at. We’re the slowest runners, the worst swimmers, and we can’t even fly without a big jet engine. Walking is the humans bread and butter.
Maybe that’s why during the Victorian era there was a little fad called pedestrianism, where walking became one of the major spectator sports in America and Europe until baseball usurped it. But individuals would wager massive bets over whether walkers could make it marathon distances and under what time. There’s a reason why racewalking is an Olympic sport, after all.
Whether it’s John Muir’s spiritual journeys through the woods; pilgrimages to Mecca; or just a casual stroll through your local park, walking has always held a close, dear place in the hearts of humans. It’s no wonder that there are so many health benefits associated with it and also why National Move More Month and National Walking Day were created promote this fantastic and surprisingly easy pastime.
National Walking Day timeline
Manpo-kei becomes okay
In 1965 Y. Hatano created a pedometer based on the concept of 10,000 steps a day (what manpo-kei roughly translates to). It wasn't until 20 years later in 1985 when the research was finally accepted as being scientifically sound that 10,000 steps a day is the rough approximation for which humans experience health benefits from walking.
One your mark. Get set. Walk.
Racewalking is introduced as an Olympic sport following pedestrianism's popularity where a "fair heel and toe rule" is established meaning a heel must be on the ground before a toe can leave, resulting in the half-walk half-jog gait now commonly associated with the sport.
- 18th century
Bet on Pedestrianism
Pedestrianism enters the modern lexicon as a popular sport for betting who can walk the longest, fastest, and still keep the proper gait.
- 1.5 million years ago
Fossilized footprints tell a story
According to fossilized footprints, it's likely that humans were walking similar to how we do today about 1.5 million years ago. No wonder we like it so much!
National Walking Day Traditions
Go for a walk!
Well that one’s pretty easy. Take thirty minutes to an hour to get the blood pumping and the legs moving!
Do a racewalk
Why not! They’re a great form of aerobic exercise and you can impress your friends with your new, faster walking technique.
Join a walking club
They’re a great way to get out, get the work done, and also meet fun people at the same time.
National Walking Day FAQs
What is National Find a Rainbow Day?
National Find a Rainbow Day is celebrated on April 3 where you either go out and find a. rainbow or make one yourself.
What month is American Heart Association?
February is the American Heart Month.
What is the National Day for April 26?
Arbor Day and National Pretzel Day are both on April 26 although they are unrelated to each other
National Walking Day Statistics
48% don’t get enough exercise
Less than 48% of adults in the US get enough aerobic exercise to improve their health. That includes walking! Get outside and get that heart rate up!
15 minutes to curb cravings
All it takes is 15 minutes of walking to actually curb a craving for chocolate or other sweet-related foods. Next time you’re looking for something sweet, take a walk around the block.
20 minutes for fewer sick days
A study found that those who walked twenty minutes per day for five days a week reported taking nearly fifty percent fewer sick days than those who exercised once per week or less!
National Walking Day Activities
Well, this is a no-brainer. Walking is, obviously, the most popular activity on National Walking Day. Just make sure you put one foot in front of the other.
Get out there and get competitive. Racewalking is great aerobic exercise and can help you zoom around your town at lightning speeds.
Or, if you prefer, take a light jog instead. Sometimes walking is just too slow for your speedsters and this next step up is nice and relaxed, but efficient.
Why We Love National Walking Day
It gets us outside
Getting outside is an important element to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Walking is a great way to get out doors!
It improves our health
Walking 10,000 steps per day is an effective way to improve your own health.
It's easy to do
No weights necessary. No running. No special skills or talents. Just get out there and walk!