One step at a time! That's the spirited essence of National Walking Day – a virtual parade that's all about taking strides toward healthier lives, stronger communities, and of course, highly enjoyed podcast-listening or bird-spotting sessions. It's that one day that motivates you to put on your comfortable shoes, grab your water bottle, and declare to the world – 'Yes, I am unstoppable, even if I just walk at the speed of a snail!'
It's national walking day on the 6th April.
While the origins of National Walking Day are slightly harder to trace than the route of your favorite walking trail, it's the American Heart Association that really put it on the map. Their goal was to remind individuals about the importance of physical activity and heart-healthy living.
Online mentions of National Walking Day have seen a sharp incline with around 22,735 mentions. The 6th of April, 2016 was a watershed moment when the most online mentions were made. What happened that day? Was there a simultaneous worldwide epiphany? We might never know, but it's clear the event has been striking a chord with the public.
Yes, walking might seem like the most simple activity – so simple that we often forget how essential it is. National Walking Day reminds us to appreciate our ability to walk, promoting a healthy lifestyle, reducing stress, and increasing longevity. Who wouldn't want in on that?
The term 'walking' can be traced back to Old English, where it was derived from the word 'wealcan' meaning 'to roll'. Initially, it referred to the act of rolling or moving by foot.
During the Middle English period, the term 'walking' evolved from its original meaning of rolling to signify the act of moving on foot in a more sense of purpose or leisure, such as strolling or hiking.
French influence on the English language introduced the word 'marcher' as an alternative term for walking. This word derived from the Latin 'marcus,' meaning 'to tread' or 'to step.' Its inclusion added another layer of nuance to the various ways the act of walking could be expressed.
The 19th century witnessed a surge in the popularity of walking as a recreational and cultural activity. Inspired by the Romantic movement, writers and thinkers embraced walking as a means to connect with nature, find inspiration, and promote both physical and mental well-being. This newfound appreciation for walking gave rise to walking clubs and societies.
In the 1940s, as physical fitness became a growing concern, walking gained recognition as a beneficial form of exercise. Walking for fitness gained popularity due to its accessibility, simplicity, and positive health effects. It became an integral part of many exercise routines and is still widely practiced today.
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