Go green to get in shape. Walk/Ride. Do it.

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By Guest Blogger Liz Layton, GIC

The WellMASS weight loss challenge was a good start toward changing some bad eating habits.  Now it’s clearly time to exercise more.  So beginning this month, I’ll be biking or walking all or part of my commute and logging in those healthier miles as part of the Green Streets Initiative 2013 Walk/Ride Challenge

What is the Walk/Ride Challenge? The Green Streets Initiative promotes Walk/Ride Days to encourage people to choose walking, bicycling, and public transit for their travel to and from work, school, and other destinations. Walk/Ride goals are to improve personal and environmental health by cutting back on individual car use and increasing physical activity. The Group Insurance Commission participated in the Walk/Ride challenge last year and, thanks to some dedicated walkers and bikers, won for participation rates in our category (public agency, under 100 employees).

The GIC is participating in the Walk/Ride Challenge again this year and we encourage other state agencies to participate, too.  You say you don’t live close enough to your office to walk or bike in?  Neither do half the people at the GIC – yet many of my coworkers who usually drive or take the train to work made small changes like parking further away from the office or getting off public transportation a stop early to walk a couple of blocks.  Extra steps add up – and we salute everyone who made these changes! 

The GIC’s Executive Director, Dolores Mitchell, says “We have been very happy to collaborate with The Green Streets Initiative.  It very nicely complements our own Wellness Initiative, and since cultural changes are more achievable when many players and many organizations support the same goal, we’re happy to be part of this effort to get Americans moving under their own power.”

You have until April 19 to register for the 2013 Walk/Ride challenge at http://gogreenstreets.org/register-2013-walkride-day-corporate-challenge

Let employees in your office know that whether they walk, even part-way, or ride a bicycle, bus, or train – those car-free miles count. Carpool miles count too.  Each participant logs in commuter miles on the last Friday of the month and becomes eligible for a monthly raffle prize and retail rewards like a free yoga class, discounts on exercise gear, home improvements, restaurants, and more.  Check out all the rewards details here.   

I’m looking forward to getting back on my bike to commute to the office during the warm weather months.  How will you change your travel habits?  Let us know if your office plans to participate in the Walk/Ride Challenge and what changes you will make.

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