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Best Walks in the Most Walkable US Cities

From the Show: Train Your Body
Summary: Walking is easy and inexpensive. Learn how you can help your community get walking!
Air Date: 2/4/14
Duration: 10
Host: Melanie Cole, MS
Guest Bio: Tyler Norris, MDiv
Tyler Norris KP photo resizedTyler Norris, MDiv, is an entrepreneur and founder of over a dozen businesses and social ventures. His three decades of service in the public, private and non-profit sectors have focused on improving population health, community vitality, and equitable prosperity. As a leader in the healthy and sustainable communities movement, he has worked in over 350 communities and with scores of organizations in the United States and around the world.

Currently, he serves as vice president, Total Health Partnerships at Kaiser Permanente, where he helps lead the implementation of this large integrated health delivery systems' aspiration for the complete physical, mental, social and spiritual well-being of its members, workforce, and communities. Additionally, Tyler leads Kaiser Permanente's portfolio of integrated physical activity and active transportation initiatives.

Among his voluntary roles, Tyler serves as board chair of IP3, a non-profit technology venture that powers CommunityCommons.org, CHNA.org, and an array of data platforms for leading health philanthropies and governmental agencies. He is also a board member of Naropa University, North America's leading institution of contemplative education.

Previously Tyler has served as founding CEO of Community Initiatives Inc.; convener of Advancing the Movement; founding co-chair of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation's National Leadership Alliance; founding director of the national "Convergence Partnership" (a consortium of philanthropies, Kaiser Permanente, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention); NAC Chair of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's Active Living by Design initiative; as a Fellow of Estes Park Institute and the Public Health Institute; and as head coach of the YMCA's award-winning Pioneering Healthier Communities initiative. Norris has a bachelor's degree in international political economy from The Colorado College and a master of divinity degree from Naropa University. He is a parent of two young adults, an avid mountain biker, back country skier and pilot.
Best Walks in the Most Walkable US Cities
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.

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