AMHERST – Walkers, lace up your sneakers and go to the Amherst Stadium.
The stadium, in partnership with the Heart & Stroke Walkabout, officially launched their new walking club, in hopes of encouraging more people to keep active.
“We have a lot of people who walk in this arena and it’s a good opportunity to get a program going to keep people motivated,” said Corey Crocker, physical activity co-ordinator for the town.
The eight-week program, which began today, and runs until April 5, will have each participant track their progress with a ‘Walkabout Tracker’ and pedometers.
“It’s a fun thing to be a part of,” said Crocker. “We have a lot of regular walkers here and if sometimes, people are feeling like they don’t want to go for a walk and they are part of a club and meet their goals, they are more inclined to get out and get walking.”
Crocker said he will also be marking down on a map of Canada just how far each participant has walked.
“As people pass in their progress, how many kilometers they’ve walked, we’ll track them on the map and mark off how far they’re going to get,” he said. “Our goal is, in eight weeks, to get across Canada.”
Crocker said the program has created groups in other areas and has seen great success. Crocker is hoping the program will see similar success in Amherst.
“It’s going to be a lot of fun,” he added.
Catherine Droesbeck, the health promotion co-ordinator for the Heart and Stroke Foundation said she’s excited about the town getting on board with the program.
“A lot of people know they should walk and a lot of people will walk,” she said. “But a lot of people need that extra support from others to make it happen… Amherst is fortunate that they also have a wonderful indoor track. This is kind of what Corey’s working on is to get more people together on a regular basis and use that indoor track.”
The program, Droesbeck said, has been around for five years and has seen great feedback from participants.
“Walking has been proven to be one of the most effective physical activities with many physical benefits,” Droesbeck added. “One of the bonuses of it is that it’s very acceptable. It doesn’t take any special equipment or a gym membership. All ages, all ability levels, everyone can walk.”
Droesbeck also added that people who are physically active are not only at lower risk of heart and stroke but also at lower risk of being diagnosed with other chronic illnesses that are affecting Nova Scotians.
Crocker is hoping for 40 walkers to join the club. At the end of the eight weeks, there will be prizes and a get together for those involved.
To join the club and start making your way across Canada, call Crocker at 667-6503.
For more information on the walkabout program, visit walkaboutns.ca