Walk Your A.S. Off ™ is a global an awareness campaign attempting to raise the level of knowledge and understanding of Ankylosing Spondylitis (A.S.) The campaign consists of individuals (with or without A.S.) who participate in a global, online, month-long, walk-a-thon. With our worldwide campaign and with the assistance of our partner charities, we are working to educate people about the disease. And in 2014, Walk Your A.S. Off ™ received the endorsement of the Ankylosing Spondylitis International Federation for all people living with a form of Spondylitis!
This campaign is not about raising money – although we have charities we partner with and support for those who wish to fundraise. Money raised by walkers goes directly to these charities, Walk Your A.S. Off collects none of the funds raised during the walk itself.
Exercise is an integral part of any spondylitis program. Exercise is such a high priority that the Spondylitis Association of America states that “you must make time for it each day (even 5-10 minutes during a work break is helpful). If you do, many benefits will follow from your efforts. A spondylitis exercise program will help you maintain good posture, flexibility and eventually help to lessen pain.”
Walk Your A.S. Off ™ was created as a form of active activism. And using the activities and exercises that benefit those with spondylitis, we can help to raise awareness of A.S. Those participating, who walk/run/bike/swim to support us, share and educate others about why they are counting their steps.
What makes our walk different?
We don’t base our initiative on a one day walk that many organizations use for fundraising. We base our initiative on getting people doing what is good for their health. We walk long enough to form the moving/walking habit which is what we need most! We encourage people to start slowly. We want people to move, but we want you to move at a pace that is beneficial to you. If you are not physically able to walk more than a few steps, we want you to know that every step you contribute helps us reach our collective goal. It will also help you. We encourage the use of a pedometer, and have found that once a person sees the level of activity they are already achieving, they are encouraged to add a bit more day to day. This has, in turn, led many to see that the increased strength helps them manage their disease.
Each year Walk Your A.S Off ™ has grown bigger and bigger. Last year (2015) we had over 50 teams participating. And to date, we’ve collectively taken 1,671,072,023 steps towards Mars!
If you’d like to know more about Walk Your A.S Off ™ then please follow the links below. Email us through our Contact page if you have questions or if you’d like to join a team.
*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.