1. What is “Walk Your A.S. Off”?
We hold virtual walk events to get moving and “Walk our A.S.’s off!” in order to stay active to keep our joints working as well as possible. Most people with Spondylitis benefit from regular exercise. Unfortunately, many of us (including me), don’t do too much. Walking is a fantastic form of low impact exercise – so let’s get moving!
2. How do I join Walk Your A.S. Off?
You can start by signing up on our brand new website. You can decide whether to walk alone or to join one of our many teams. Once your account is created you can choose your team (or not) and log your step progress. You can learn how to create your account with this tutorial.
3. How do I form a team?
You will have the ability to form your own team when you have signed up. If you’re not sure how, check out this helpful tutorial on YouTube. There are no limits on team size. Since we’ll be tracking our steps from May 1st until May 31st, please try to get your team ready to log steps starting on launch day.
4. Do you have to have a form of Spondylitis to participate?
No, absolutely not. In fact we encourage participation from everyone. “Walk Your A.S. Off” is a great way to speak with people about Ankylosing Spondylitis and encourage friends and family to support our awareness efforts in a fun and healthy way.
5. Does each step count?
Yes! With a pedometer, or fitness tracker, you can easily track how many steps you take every day without even thinking about it. A simple and inexpensive pedometer will do the trick and keep you from the guess work of calculating how many steps you take per mile. And most cell phone have step trackers built in, too!
For many of us we will do the best we can, but on some days it may only be the steps you take around the house. That’s fine. Your steps count as much as someone who is able to log 10,000 on a regular basis (that’s a lot of daily steps.) This isn’t just for people with a form of Spondylitis, anyone can join and support a team to help us to our race to Mars and race to a cure!
6. How do I report the steps?
Simple, just log in to Walk AS One’s website (the parent charity of Walk Your AS Off) and click on ‘Log In’. We now record all steps on our main Walk AS One website as a central way to collect steps for all our awareness events.
7. What is the best pedometer / fitness tracker to buy?
Before buying, check if your cell ‘phone has a built in step tracker or if there is a free downloadable app. There are many good pedometers that can be found either on websites like Amazon or at your local stores like WalMart, Target, or Sporting Goods Stores for under $10. There is a huge selection of pedometers and fitness trackers for less than $50 and many record your distance and calories burned too.
8. Do I have to purchase a pedometer?
No, you don’t, but having one allows you to track every step you take during the day. If you’d like to simply track a walk route you do, then the basic conversion is 2000 steps to the mile. You could also use a step tracking app on your cell phone. Most are free.
9. What if I am not able to participate one day?
It may feel like you cannot participate on days where you are flaring or in too much pain. We understand. The hope of this walk is to get us moving a bit more than we “normally” would but some days that just may not be possible. Do not worry about your daily contribution numbers. Think instead of being part of the greater group and team. Also please keep in mind that this is why we are suggesting pedometers. Using a pedometer will allow you to contribute steps even on the bad days. Every step takes us closer to a broader awareness of Ankylosing Spondylitis.
10. Can I join anytime?
Yes. We’d love to have all teams formed and ready to go on May 1st, but we know that there are people who might not be able to start right away, particularly if they didn’t know about the walk. We want people to join in, even if just for a single day. Every step counts!
11. Is there a wheelchair equivalent?
Yes! You may track your distance and convert it to steps. Activity is the goal and we understand the need to make accommodations.
12. Why take the challenge?
There are so many good reasons to get moving and walk but by joining together as a community we show we work hard to stay as healthy as possible and that it is a difficult endeavor for us to do so. This is a small grassroots effort but perhaps next year after we show the world that we can do this, we can turn it into something that helps us raise money for a cure! A cure is always our goal. As people with Spondylitis and the friends and family who support us we need to take action and find ways to get to that goal. By participating simply because it is good for us – we take a stance as a community. By participating we work to build something that helps us take concrete steps to our eventual big goal – a cure for AS.
13. Does it cost me money to participate?
No. The goal of the walk is to walk and be the healthiest ASer’s around.
14. Is this a fundraiser like most walks are?
No, the walk was not set up to primarily be a fundraiser but if you wish to fundraise for a cause of your choice, please use your participation in Walk Your AS Off as an opportunity for sponsorship. Walk AS One is a registered Section 501(c)3 charity and your donations would be greatly appreciated. Donate here.
*Before beginning any new exercise program, consult your physician or physical therapist. They can help provide modifications to suit your particular needs. Ask which exercises you should do and then check to see that you are doing them correctly.