July 30, 2022

Wanting to start taking advantage of the many trails and parks by starting a biking or a walking regimen?

Jan Nelson

Starting can be daunting for many, but with the use of technology, there are so many ways to get help.

Motivation to begin and then to persevere are two major obstacles. One way to get motivated is to join friends or other people who like to bike, hike or walk. If you don’t have friends who are interested, there are many meet up groups on Facebook and other social media sites that you can join. These groups let you know of the places and times they are meeting so you can join them. Search the Facebook Community Groups and search for Bicycle and Walking groups to begin. It’s easier to persevere when you connect with others.

Other useful technology resources are Apps for your Smart Phone. There are many GPS programs for hiking. All Trails, Trail Link, Avenza Maps, Gaia GPS are all examples. These apps show trails in the areas you want to walk, run or bike in. Information on difficulty level, length of trail, and directions to get there as well as tracking your progress on the trail is given. Hikers and bikers give reviews of the trails so you can find ones that are suitable for you. These apps let you find new places to explore which is another great motivator to get out there and move.

Finally, one of the best nontechnology strategies I learned from my daughter, an avid runner, was to make your biking, hiking, running, or walking a top priority. Each morning she looked at her calendar to determine what time she was going to run. I always just thought I would get to it when I could, which many times didn’t happen. I learned from her to set it as a daily priority by determining first thing when it would happen. This little change in my routine increased my walking/hiking plan. I walk daily now and always look at my calendar each morning to see what time that is happening.

Get moving and enjoy the trails, streets, and parks in our community.

Jan Nelson is a Lee’s Summit resident and member of the Livable Streets Advisory Board, a mayor-appointed, volunteer board whose goals include working to make our community and our streets more “livable,” safe and accessible for all of our citizens.