Celebrating 10 Years: Walk Your AS Off 2021

Published: April 2, 2021

May 1st is fast approaching, which means it is almost time for this year's Walk Your AS Off (WYASO) event, which takes place from May 1 to May 31.

What is Walk Your AS Off?

It's an awareness campaign and a challenge to encourage and motivate those with axial spondyloarthritis (axSpA), including Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS), to be more active through walking and regular exercise so that they can be in charge of their condition, and work towards improving their quality of life.

Walking is known to have great health benefits, and this couldn't be truer with axSpA/AS Spondylitis sufferers. You walk (or exercise) when you want, how you want and as much as you want, and log your steps with us to help us reach our ten-year goal of having enough steps to reach Mars! You can do this as an individual, but it's more fun to join or create a team.

If you have taken part before, then you are all set. Your accounts from last year are waiting for you. Log in and start tracking your steps.

Before May 1st make sure you can log into your account, track steps, and maybe leave a note for your team to say 'Hi!' in the team messaging system. Treat the time leading up to May 1 as practice for the main WYASO event.

If you are new to Walk Your AS Off, then welcome! There is a bunch of resources below to help you get started, including a FAQ which will help you get ready for Walk Your AS Off. You'll be taking part with people globally, and we hope you get to meet some of them online.

Last year, because of the ongoing SAR-COV-19 pandemic, WYASO felt a little different. We still attracted participants from countries all over the world, but many people were under lockdowns and many others hadn't settled into a safe routine for exercising. It's the same this year, but we have now all learnt to maintain physical distancing, wear masks and stay home when necessary. There are opportunities to walk or exercise outdoors. We won't be encouraging teams to meet up for walks together, but like everything else, WYASO will be more virtual than ever this year. You can take part.

There are many things we can do to keep active in a bid to help control our axSpA/AS. Leading up to, and throughout WYASO, we will share tips and exercises you can do to help you keep active during this troublesome time. And remember all exercise counts and can be converted to steps to be logged. Whether it's work around the house or garden, yoga, cycling or swimming, it can all be converted! There's a handy conversion chart in the resources section below.

If you have any questions, or want to start a team but are not sure how to, don't be afraid to reach out to us on info@walkasone.org.


World AS Day

This year's World AS Day falls on Saturday, May 8th. The theme that all axSpA patient organizations charities around the globe are sharing is TOGETHER—axSpA and Emotional Wellness. I would encourage you to check out the World AS Day page on ASIF's website for more information. ASIF endorses and is a proud supporter of Walk Your AS Off, so keep your eye out on their social media (and ours) on how we can improve mental health support (and much more) together.


Resources for a successful WYASO

Recruitment Flyer

If you need a little help to get people to sign up, then maybe this flyer will help. Print off as many as you'd like, write your team name on it and hand them out! That's it. You can download it here.

Flyer

Our latest version of our AS informational flyer. You can download that here.

Team Captain Guide

Whether you are a new or veteran team captain, check out our new guide for 2020. We hope to expand this guide in the future, so reach out if you have ideas on what else we can add, so that we can support our team captains. Download the guide here.

Apparel

Want to show the world why you are walking with some new threads? We have brand new WYASO shirts and hats! Find them here.

Step Conversion Chart

We have taken the old step conversion chart and simplified it (you can still use the old one, it's still valid.) You can download the step conversion chart here.

Sign up tutorial [video]

If you or any of your team members need help to sign up, we've got you covered. We have a video tutorials showing you all the features of the website, as well as how to sign up and how you can create a team.