Let’s get Moving, Washington Heights!

by Rebecca Nault, DPT

MKE Physical Therapy calls Milwaukee’s Washington Heights neighborhood home. This article, published in our neighborhood magazine The Highlighter, presents exercise benefits that apply to all neighborhoods, but we encourage you to take advantage of the maps below and come and visit the Heights for your next exercise session!

You don’t have to exercise hard or for a long time to gain the many benefits it provides. The American Heart Association recommends at least 150 minutes a week of moderate intensity aerobic activity, 75 minutes per week of vigorous aerobic activity, or a combination of both, preferably spread throughout the week. This is just under 22 minutes a day. 

Why exercise? Speaking as a Physical Therapist, I can tell you that low load exercise has been proven to be beneficial for pain, arthritis, headaches, balance, and more – all of which I have treated many times. Here is a list of just some of the many benefits of exercise:

  • Lower risk of heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, dementia and cancer
  • Improved mental health and improved symptoms of depression and anxiety
  • Better sleep
  • Improved bone health and bone density, especially with weight bearing exercise 
  • Improved cognition, memory and attention 
  • Weight loss or less weight gain and obesity 
  • Fewer risk of falls
  • Better quality of life 

Examples of moderate-intensity aerobic activity – recommended 150 minutes a week (~22 minutes day)

  • 🚶 Brisk walking (at least 2.5 mph)
  • 🏊 Water aerobics
  • 💃 Dancing
  • 🏡 Gardening
  • 🚴 Biking under 10 miles per hour

Examples of vigorous intensity – recommended 75 minutes per week (~11 hours a day) 

  • 🏃 Running
  • 🏊 Swimming laps
  • 🥾 Hiking up hill or with a heavy backpack
  • 🎾 Tennis 
  • 🚴 Cycling 10 miles per hour or faster 
  • 🦘 Jumping rope 

I know that for many of us, 150 minutes a week (less than 22 minutes a day) still seems overwhelming. Start by setting small goals. The easiest way to get moving and improve your health is to start walking. It’s free and can be done right here in Washington Heights. 

Included here is a 3 mile route around the perimeter of our beautiful neighborhood. If 3 miles is too far or not far enough then scan the QR code in the map attached for more maps with 6 different routes that begin and end at MKE Physical Therapy on Vliet. The routes range from 1-6 miles to accommodate those that are just beginning their health journey to those that are looking to take it to the next step and add more distance to their current routes.  

For an even greater benefit, include both moderate and vigorous intensity activity in your routine along with strengthening and stretching exercises. And if you’re not sure what strengthening and stretching exercises to do or if pain is slowing you down, please contact Rebecca at MKE Physical Therapy and I will get you moving in the right direction to help you reach your goals and beyond. 

Washington Heights Run/Walk Maps

1 Mile

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2 Mile

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3 Mile

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4 Mile

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5 Mile

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6 Mile

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