Paul Kiczek's Blog (154)

The East Coast Greenway - a Path for the Entire East Coast

Most of us have experienced the East Coast Greenway which cuts through the middle of New Jersey and piggybacks the great New York City Greenway along the Hudson. But the Greenway represents so much more. As we extend our walks beyond our home turfs, its easy to see its vastness and promise. Here's a great article…

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Added by Paul Kiczek on June 29, 2016 at 2:03pm — No Comments

Walkable Neighborhoods Cut Obesity and Diabetes Rates

Neighborhoods designed for walking may decrease the rates of being overweight or obese and having diabetes by more than 10 percent, a new study concludes. The incidence of diabetes was also lowest in the most walkable neighborhoods. Conclusion: Walking, cycling and public transit rates were much higher in walkable neighborhoods,” she said, “and that leads to better health outcomes.…

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Added by Paul Kiczek on May 26, 2016 at 1:21pm — No Comments

Kristof on Why We Walk

Nicholas Kristof, the famous intrepid reporter for the New York Times, just wrote a piece on why he continues to take hikes with his family and the benefit of unplugging in today's fast-paced life. Worth the read and the reminder of why we do what we do, even if we aren't always conscious of its benefits.

Read NYTimes May 26, 206…

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Added by Paul Kiczek on May 26, 2016 at 9:00am — No Comments

GirlTrek: Walking Together for Health and Spirit

GirlTrek (http://www.girltrek.org/) is a program that not only motivates over 58,000 people to be active on a significant scale, but mostly benefits the sedentary subset of the population: black women, who have the …

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Added by Paul Kiczek on April 6, 2016 at 3:00pm — No Comments

The Liberty Bridge: Pipedream or Future Reality?

Kevin Shane, a Jersey City resident has devoted much of his free time over the past year to researching and developing a fanciful plan for a span that would enable commuters and tourists to bike or walk between downtown Jersey City and Lower Manhattan. It would be more than a mile long and would rise more than 200 feet above the river.…

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Added by Paul Kiczek on November 9, 2015 at 3:37pm — No Comments

On the Longest Hiking Trails, a Woman Finds Equal Footing

Women can compete on an equal footing with men on walking long distances. So says the ultra-marathoner Scott Jurek "The gender gap diminishes and disappears over distance. When you’re traveling over 2,000 miles, it doesn’t matter if you are male or female. Superhuman powers are superhuman powers; they know no gender, no…

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Added by Paul Kiczek on November 3, 2015 at 4:09pm — No Comments

It's Not Hiking: The Patient Practice of Long Distance Walking

Check out the FreeWalkers in a national article on Long Distance Walking. The author provides a great story and photos of our experience, and background information. It includes information on another association with similar methods and goals called the LDWA based in England. We're getting nice…

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Added by Paul Kiczek on July 27, 2015 at 2:43pm — No Comments

Michael Helbing is About to Be the First Person to Walk the Perimeter of New Jersey

Most FreeWalkers know of Michael Helbing and his Metrotrails organization that tackle challenging, unique and off-beat trails around New Jersey. And. if you know Michael you know he has a singular passion of walking the entire perimeter of New Jersey. A lot of that is coast and good deal is difficult to access.…

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Added by Paul Kiczek on July 24, 2015 at 4:49pm — No Comments

How Walking in Nature Changes the Brain

A walk in the park may soothe the mind and, in the process, change the workings of our brains in ways that improve our mental health, according to an interesting new study of the physical effects on the brain of visiting nature.

Research volunteers who had strolled along the quiet, tree-lined paths showed slight but…

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Added by Paul Kiczek on July 24, 2015 at 4:43pm — No Comments

Best Reasons to Exercise: Greater Energy, Better Mood, Less Stress and More Connections

Research has shown that even people who say they hate to exercise or have repeatedly fallen off the exercise wagon can learn to enjoy it and stick with it. "Health" is not an optimal way to make physical activity relevant and compelling enough for most people. Better are immediate rewards…

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Added by Paul Kiczek on July 24, 2015 at 4:00pm — No Comments

Take A Hike To Do Your Heart And Spirit Good

Too many people think you have to exercise really, really hard to get a benefit, and nothing could be further from the truth. You're actually getting probably 95 percent or more of the benefits when you're walking as compared to jogging." this according to Tim Church, physician and exercise…

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Added by Paul Kiczek on June 24, 2015 at 2:12pm — No Comments

What's the Right Amount of Exercise?

According to a couple new long term studies it appears even a small amount of regular exercise, like walking, greatly improves longevity  But how much exercise is too little, too much or just the right amount? It appears there is a sweet spot and may be more than normally recommended. …

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Added by Paul Kiczek on May 13, 2015 at 3:00pm — No Comments

A 2-Minute Walk May Counter the Harms of Sitting

Here's some interesting advice for all who sit for long periods and don't mind walking. 

You've probably heard recently that sitting is getting a bad rap these days for its inactivity leading to problems such as diabetes, heart disease and obesity. Studies now show that take just a two minute walk each hour, rather than even standing up, has a more beneficial outcome. Why not walk around the office just for your own personal benefit?…

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Added by Paul Kiczek on May 13, 2015 at 2:34pm — 1 Comment

New Walking Tech: Shoe inserts that charge your phone when you walk

How about energy-harvesting shoe insoles. As you walk, they take the kinetic energy from your step and convert it into electrical energy which can power other device, such as your smartphone. For every hour of walk time, you end up with about 30 minutes of talk time.…

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Added by Paul Kiczek on March 18, 2015 at 4:00pm — No Comments

TED Talk: Life at 3 MPH

What if we all lived life at 3 mph? Jonathon Stalls 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 get out of the car, off the bike, and into a slower state of mind. Thanks to…

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Added by Paul Kiczek on March 14, 2015 at 2:30pm — No Comments

Why Don't Kids Walk to School Anymore?

In the late 1960s, nearly 50 percent of American children walked to and from school each day. In this short film produced by City Walk, experts discuss the decline of a once-common activity—and why it would still benefit children today. "Kids need to walk to school so they learn about active…

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Added by Paul Kiczek on March 14, 2015 at 2:00pm — No Comments

Communities Creating Their Own Trail Signs

It started as a technically illegal exercise in improving how people experience the streets of Raleigh, North Carolina. Just some simple signs, lashed to light poles, at a few of the city’s key intersections, letting residents and visitors know what attractions and amenities could be found within walking distance and how many minutes it would take to reach them on…

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Added by Paul Kiczek on February 27, 2015 at 4:32pm — No Comments

Walk Hard but Walk Easy too

Intense, interval-style workouts are all the rage in fitness these days. The theory is that brief bouts of very hard exercise have been shown to improve the health and fitness with just minutes of suffering each week.

Such efficiency is alluring, but high-intensity interval training…

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Added by Paul Kiczek on February 27, 2015 at 4:12pm — No Comments

The Benefits of a Lunch Hour Walk

A new study finds that even gentle lunchtime strolls can perceptibly — and immediately — buoy people’s moods and ability to handle stress at work.

It is not news, of course, that walking is healthy and that people who walk or otherwise exercise regularly tend to be more calm, alert and happy than people who are inactive.

In a recent study,…

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Added by Paul Kiczek on January 22, 2015 at 11:16am — No Comments

Hiking the Perimeter of New Jersey

Ok. We FreeWalkers hike across the state every year. And, many people think that's crazy. But, we've never gone around a state.

Michael Helbing, founder of Metrotrails has his sites on walking the perimeter of the state. Mike has completed over 100 hikes along the state border and has 18 more planned in 2015 that will…

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Added by Paul Kiczek on January 12, 2015 at 9:30pm — No Comments

Recent Events

Providence - Boston Expedition

Providence to Boston July 23 to July 29 - Loredana, Ken and Nancy have finished thier 110 mile week-long expedition on the ECGA. More photos & story to follow.

Read Loredana's story on why she walks the expedition each year.

See Loredana's 7-day Photo Journal

Bronx Coast-to-Coast 2016

About 80 walkers covered the fascinatingly diverse region NYC from the Hudson to the Sound, while facing the beginning of the heat wave. Our thanks and welcome go to Shorewalkers who participated with us on this United Walking event.

Hudson Loop Walk 2016

About 65 FreeWalkers walked the the Hudson again for our 3rd year. Always a treat this time of year and a fan favorite.

 

Past Events

Tour of Brooklyn 2014 & Year End Party

On November 16, 2014 about 35 FreeWalkers followed our native Brooklynite, Renata Luisi and walked from Penn Station to Willaimsburg topping off the 2014 season with a rousing visit to the Radegast Beer Hall.

The Battle of Short Hills Walk

On October 18, 2014 about 29 FreeWalkers followed a Revolutionary War historic battle march into the Watchung mountains as well as experience other historical sites along the way.

The Origins Walk: Lenape34

On Monday, October 13, 2014,our 5th annual 34-mile trek through the wilds of Essex County will took place - a tough event to finish.

The Endless Summer Walk

Over 32 FreeWalkers extended their 2014 summer by walking our 4th annual Jersey shore event on September 27th.

In Their Footsteps

Words to Walk By

A brief essay by Loredana Delluchi

Why Do You Want to Walk to Canada?

One beautiful day, while walking with FreeWalkers on the Connecticut East Coast Greenway (ECG), the desire to keep going all the way to Canada came over me. I spoke about it with my friends and the more I played with the idea, the bigger my smile became. 

Suddenly, my friend Ian Hochstead bent down, picked up a coin and said "Look Loredana!  It's a Canadian penny."  Overjoyed, with a theatrical reaction, I said "It's a sign! Now I must walk all the way to Canada to return the coin." 

During that same walk I met Ken Kurland who had the same dream of exploring the ECG to the Canada-US border at Calais, Maine. In fact, Ken and Nancy Jonap were already planning the next segment of the walk. I joined them and together we arrived in Providence. 

This year we are walking from Providence to Boston and I'm filled with joy thinking about the privilege I have to admire the beauty of America one step at the time.

Author Paulo Coelho wrote "When you really want something, the world conspires to make a dream come true".  

I'm grateful to Ken, Nancy, FreeWalkers and the ECG for helping me with my dream. One day I may be able to return the coin. :)


Loredana lives in New York City and has been a FreeWalker for over 5 years. She is the founder of a non-profit Knitting Without Borders, which provides hand-crafted teddy bears to sick children around the world. Her indomitable spirit inspires us all.

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