What is Walktober?
Walktober is a free, community-wide physical activity initiative, encouraging you to engage in the recommended 30 minutes of activity five or more days of the week. Walking is a perfect way to meet that goal!
Enjoy each day of October’s pleasant temperatures with a friend, child, spouse, co-worker, neighbor or pet. You might get hooked! Forming a walking habit is comfortable with the partnership and accountability of friendship, family, neighbors, co-worker or dog. Walking-and-talking is relaxing for mental health and stimulating to the body’s health.
Register for the opportunity to receive prizes!
Click here to register for Walktober. Registered participants will receive a weekly motivational email packed with event descriptions and resources. Submit your weekly walks for a chance to win prizes donated by REI and more!
- Join the Walktober Strava Club and track your walks from your device. Prizes will be awarded throughout the month through the leaderboard. Click here for the steps to join. Bonus: by using strava you are helping your city! The City of Wichita uses the data in Strava to learn where people in the city are biking and walking.
- Walktober ICT Facebook Group: During Walktober, learn how the simple habit of walking can provide numerous health benefits! Uplift Healthy Lifestyle, ICT Muscle and Joint Clinic, & Just Move ICT invite you to join our Facebook Group to get support as you create your walking habit. Our local experts can help you step to the next level – wherever you are in your fitness journey.
- Kick-off: Saturday, September 30th – Join us at Exploration Place parkrun for a Walktober group picture at 8am. One lucky participant will receive a prize from REI
- Walk to School Day – Wed. October 4th (or any day in October): Improve the health and well-being of children by enabling and encouraging them to walk and roll to school. Walk to School Day events come in all sizes. Make the event something that will resonate with what families, the school and broader community care about. Download this Frequent Walker Card to track walks. Additional Resources: National Center for Safe Routes to Schools. Kansas Safe Routes to Schools, Walking School Bus,
- Wednesday Walking Series – Bike Walk Wichita is celebrating WALKTOBER with weekly “Walking Wednesdays.” Each walk will start at 5:30 PM and last about an hour. Everybody is welcome! Additional details on Facebook. The schedule will be:
- October 4- Walking in College Hill
- October 11 – Walking in Swanson Park
- October 18 – A walk down the Arkansas River path starting from the Keeper of the Plains.
- October 25- Jim Mason is leading a walk in Highland Cemetery, talking about Wichita pioneers. Those who attended last year’s walk in Maple Grove especially won’t want to miss this!
- Tuesday, October 3rd 9am – City of Wichita Proclamation
- Wednesday, October 4th 9am – Sedgwick County Proclamation
- Great Plains Nature Center Walking Book Club – Oct. 6th, 2-4 pm
- Bike Walk Wichita’s monthly “Slow Roll and Stroll” will be held on Sunday, October 8th. Bicyclists and walkers meet together, then each group follows a route. See Facebook event for details.
- Prairie Fire Fall Races – Oct. 8th: Marathon, Half-Marathon, 5K, Friendly 5K
- Envision White Cane Day – The white cane is a torch of independence for those in our community who are blind or visually impaired, lighting their journey towards mobility. Join us as we walk united from Exploration Place Festival Plaza to the iconic Keeper of the Plains, returning to celebrate Envision’s 90th Birthday together. Sat, 10/14, 10-11am. Click here to register.
- WSU Pumpkin Run Oct. 21
- A special Urban Walk hosted by Bike Walk Wichita will be held on Saturday, October 21. This walk will be about 3.5 miles and go through the Friends University and Newman University campuses. See Facebook event for details.
- Who Let The Dogs Out 5K and Tail Waggers 1 mile Fun run/walk – November 5th
- Turkey Trot November 18th
- Girls on the Run Fall 5K November 19th
Do you have an event you would like promoted during Walktober? Email us and we’ll add it!
- Exploration Place parkrun – A free, fun, and friendly weekly 5k community event. Walk, jog, run, volunteer or spectate – it’s up to you!
- ICT Food Rescue/Towne West Mall Walking Program
- Walk indoors at City of Wichita Recreation Centers – map
- The StoryWalk® at Evergreen Park, 2700 N. Woodland, is an activity families can enjoy together. This interactive attraction pairs literacy with physical activity. There are 20 stations along the walking path at the park, each one containing laminated pages from a children’s book. Read the whole book with your child and ask guided questions about what they read, provided at the last station of the StoryWalk®.
- Sedgwick County Zoo Making Tracks – track your miles walked at the zoo! Call 316-660-9453 for more information or stop by the gift shop.
Thank you to the Community Planning Partners:
Barbara Coats and Kim Neufeld with Bike Walk Wichita, Nancy Gardner and Amy Draut with K-State Research & Extension, Kyler VanderGiesen with Exploration Place, Shae Rowe with the Sedgwick County Health Department, Reggie Davidson with City of Wichita Park & Recreation, and Vicky Cleary with UPLIFT Healthy Lifestyle.
Additional thanks to the following community supporters:
Resources to keep you motivated all year long
- The Walking Site
- Walking Tips for Seniors
- Walking Tips for Families
- Walk BINGO
- Walk at Work Tips
- Worksite Walking Clubs
- Walking Detective Kids Workbook – Is your neighborhood a safe and easy place to walk and bike? It’s up to you to find out! Take the case and you can be a walking detective.
- Walking Detective Leaders Guide
- City of Wichita Park & Recreation QR Fit Trails
- 6 steps and helpful tips for starting a walking club
- Wichita Flag Murals Map
- Interactive map of Keeper Statues – walk to a keeper in your neighborhood!
- Volunteer to walk a dog! Kansas Humane Society’s Dog’s Day Out program allows you to take a dog out of the shelter for outings in the community. Outings can include a hike, a car ride to get a pup cup, and visits to dog friendly stores and locations in Wichita. Participants do not have to commit to a minimum number of outings or undergo the detailed training that in-shelter volunteers are required to take. Participants must be at least 18 years old. For more information, contact Shanna.
- Get Outdoors Kansas – explore trails across the state!
- What if we all lived life at 3 mph? Wayfarer Jonathon has walked thousands of miles over the last few years in response to that question, including an across-country walk to raise support for Kiva.org. In this riveting talk, Jonathon asks us to question the design of our cities, and implores the audience to get out of the car, off the bike, and into a slower state of mind.
The Sedgwick County Health Department started Walktober in 2008 to encourage people to get out and walk. Each year, community partners come together to plan events and promote the benefits of walking.
- What’s new? The mantra “10,000 steps a day” should be nuanced . That recommendation seems to have come from a Japanese marketing plan for a pedometer. In the last few years new studies have suggested that the benefits of walking occur at lower levels.
- Data from the Women’s Health Study published in 2019 showed that for women over 45, significant decrease in mortality was seen at just 4,400 steps per day, and the benefits leveled off at about 7,500 steps per day.
- An international group formed the Steps for Health Collaborative and did a meta-analysis of 15 studies. Published results in Lancet in 2022, it found that for those 60 and older, the benefits leveled off between 6,000-8,000 steps per day. For those younger than 60, benefits leveled off at about 8,000-10,000 steps per day.
- 10,000 steps per day is a daunting challenge, one that could discourage many people from even starting to walk. Physicians should recommend walking as a basic tenet of preventive care and emphasize that benefits can occur at lower numbers of steps. Download the Medical Society of Sedgwick County “Prescription for Walking” here.
- Doc Mike Evans – “23 ½ Hours” video