Stay safe: please read our page about how to walk outdoors safely during COVID-19.

New to Walking: Getting Started
Walk for Health
Walk for Adventure: Explore and Discover
Walk for Peacefulness, Solitude and to Connect with Nature

Here are 5 easy steps to take to get outdoors with RI Walks.

  1. Register with RI Walks and set your goal.
  2. Select a trail - one that is easy for you to get to and that matches your walking ability and interest. It can be a trail that you already know. Or find a trail on ExploreRI that is near where you live. If you prefer to walk before or after work/school, you can find a trail near there.
  3. Plan & schedule the time(s) and days for your walks. When is it easiest to fit walking in your schedule? Add walks to your calendar.
  4. Start a routine and form a new habit. Ask yourself: What can I do to make walks part of my daily or weekly routine and a habit?
    • Set a "trigger" or two - something that reminds you and gets you to take a walk (in addition to putting your walk in your calendar) such as putting a sign on your (home/office) door, locker door, or bathroom mirror.
    • Invite a friend or family member to walk with you. Join someone else who already walks. Walk your dog;
  5. Log your walks on RI Walks so you can watch your progress toward your goal.  If your health care provider gave you a RI Walks serial number, RI Walks can send them reports on your walking activity.

Walk for Health

Humans are built to walk and we have a hard-wired need to connect with nature. It's built into our DNA and our brain. This is why walking outdoors and spending time in nature aren't just a great way to relax and unwind, they're important for your mental and physical health.

RI Walks lets you set goals for your health and keep track of your walking and time spent in nature. It's easy to use. Register with RI Walks. Set your goal and track what matters most to you: your steps, your miles, or your time spent outdoors in nature.

You can also share progress toward your health goal with your health care provider. You don't need a registration number to use RI Walks. However, if your health care provider is signed up with RI Walks, they can give you a registration number. This registration number enables RI Walks to report your walking activity to your health care provider. (Note: If your health care provider is not signed up, let them know about RI Walks. It is easy for them to sign up and then they can get reports about your walking activity and see how your walking activity is improving your health.)

Photo Credit: Rhode Island Families in Nature

Once you start walking, you will notice the improvement in your life!

Why Walk? Research studies are finding a growing list of health benefits from walking outdoors and spending time in nature.

Mental health benefits:

Physical health benefits:

How much time do I need to spend walking outdoors in nature for the health benefits?

Spending time in nature - Research shows that spending 2 hours a week in nature is a good goal for health benefits even for people living with chronic illness. Researchers find you get these health benefits either from spending 15-20 minutes a day (so that it adds up to 2 hours a week) or a 2 hour block once per week.

Walking - Researchers recommend walking 22-30 minutes a day for a total of 2.5 hours a week. Studies find the greatest health benefits from daily exercise or at least exercising three days a week. US Surgeon General recommends walking at least 22 minutes a day to combat chronic disease. American Heart Association recommends daily exercise of over 30 minutes most days of the week. US Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommends 150 minutes (2.5 hours) of brisk walking a week. American Diabetes Association also recommends 150 minutes a week with daily physical activity or not more than 2 days between exercise sessions.

Here are 5 easy steps to take to get outdoors with RI Walks.

  1. Register with RI Walks and set your goal.
  2. Select a trail - one that is easy for you to get to and that matches your walking ability and interest. It can be a trail that you already know. Or find a trail on ExploreRI that is near where you live. If you prefer to walk before or after work/school, you can find a trail near there.
  3. Plan & schedule the time(s) and days for your walks. When is it easiest to fit walking in your schedule? Add walks to your calendar.
  4. Start a routine and form a new habit. Ask yourself: What can I do to make walks part of my daily or weekly routine and a habit?
    • Set a "trigger" or two - something that reminds you and gets you to take a walk (in addition to putting your walk in your calendar) such as putting a sign on your (home/office) door, locker door, or bathroom mirror.
    • Invite a friend or family member to walk with you. Join someone else who already walks. Walk your dog;
  5. Log your walks on RI Walks so you can watch your progress toward your goal.  If your health care provider gave you a RI Walks serial number, RI Walks can send them reports on your walking activity.
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Header image and photo button images courtesy of RI Families in Nature.

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