Leonardtown, MD – October 28, 2019  – According to the 2019 County Health Rankings data, 36 percent of St. Mary’s County residents age 20 and older are considered obese, and 22 percent report no leisure time physical activity.  Obesity can lead to chronic disease such as heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes.  Walking is a great way to get and stay fit, and can be done on your own schedule and at your own pace.

The St. Mary’s County Health Department (SMCHD) and St. Mary’s County Recreation and Parks, funded through a grant from the Maryland Department of Health, have joined efforts to create a guide for walking in St. Mary’s County. The Get Out and Walk Guide provides information about walking trails in St. Mary’s County, staying safe while walking, resources that can add to the success of your walking program, and local programs and activities to keep you walking.

Community members can download the Get Out and Walk Guide at  www.smchd.org/walksmc/ or pick up a print copy at the St. Mary’s County Health Department, the St. Mary’s County Recreation and Parks office, or at any of the St. Mary’s County Libraries.

“Walking is a great way to get in shape, it doesn’t require special equipment or training, and it can be a great family activity,” said Shannon Heaney, Quality Improvement Coordinator at SMCHD.  “Walking only 30 minutes a day can encourage residents to make physical activity part of a healthy lifestyle.”