Nearly everyone involved in the effort to reverse childhood obesity knows that most young people do not get at least 60 minutes of physical activity each day, as recommended by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans.
And nearly everyone agrees that schools must be part of the solution.
Back in May 2013, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) issued a groundbreaking report on physical activity in schools that included a series of recommendations as to how schools could best incorporate more physical activity into the school day.
More than just getting you from Point A to Point B, a good walk can provide exercise, exposure to fresh air and nature, and—bonus—even up-close-and-personal views of landmarks, if you plot your route well.
To find 20 rewarding walks that fit that criteria, information was gathered from experts who live in, commute around, and regularly travel (on foot!) the top 10 walking cities for 2014, as ranked by Walk Score (a website that analyzes walkability based on available routes and amenities like entertainment, shopping, and parks).
The routes suggested by the pros—walking coaches and advocates, tour guides and city officials, and authors who write about (what else?) walking—are all at least three miles, to get you well on your way to the 10,000 steps a day recommended by health researchers.
Some tips? Aim for a consistent moderate pace, and if possible wear lightweight walking sneakers and a pedometer to help you track your distance.
And don't forget your smartphone: you can access 10 of the routes via Google Maps (create shareable maps for desktop or phone of your own favorite walks at Google Maps Engine Lite) as well as exclusive Spotify playlists customized to each city - and guaranteed to get you moving.