First Lady’s ‘Let’s Move’ Blog Tells People: Walk, Don’t Drive

By Patrick Burke | November 16, 2012 | 11:23 AM EST

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( – “Do you work near your home? Is your church or school nearby? Put on some comfortable shoes and try walking instead of driving.”

That’s one of the “walking tips” posted this week on First Lady Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” website.

The blog post, written by Elizabeth Rhodes of the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, also recommends walking the dog, walking with the kids, walking with friends, or just walking around the block by yourself.

“With the cool fall temperatures, now is the perfect time to get outside and enjoy a walk in your neighborhood or a hike in a nearby park,” it says.

The blog post encourages people to visit to find local parks in which to stroll.

“People walk to get to places they want to go when places are nearby” – especially when destinations are within a mile, the blog says.

To encourage healthy living, the CDC recommends that state and local governments make walking a focus of their planning:

-- Consider walking when creating long-range community plans.

-- Consider designing local streets and roadways that are safe for people who walk and other road users.

-- Consider opportunities to let community residents use local school tracks or gyms after classes have finished.

--  Make sure existing sidewalks and walking paths are kept in good condition, well lit and free of problems such as snow, rocks, trash, and fallen tree limbs.

--  Promote walking paths with signs that are easy to read, and route maps that the public can easily find and use

Likewise, the CDC urges employers to “create and support walking programs for employees” and provide showers at work.

Although the "Let's Move" blog stresses the health benefits of walking, it's all part of the Obama administration's push for "sustainable communities" where people can live a car-less existence.

Sustainable communities are places that offer a variety of housing and transportation choices, with destinations close to home.

President Obama's "Partnership for Sustainable Communities" is a joint effort by HUD, EPA, and DOT to "invest in healthy, safe and walkable neighborhoods."