By Carolyn Marnon – Do you like to walk? If you don’t like to walk, would it be easier to walk more if you had someone to do it with? The Wayne Walking Club might be just the group you need to motivate you to get active and get your body moving.
Started in April 2016, the Walking Club is part of the Healthy Wayne community coalition, a program brought to Wayne through Beaumont Health. Healthy Wayne wants to encourage residents to lead a healthier lifestyle. It is a place-based program that serves the needs of the residents of the particular city it is in.
Set up as a buddy system, the Walking Club encourages residents to get out and walk. By having a buddy, you are less likely to make excuses for not walking. If you walk by yourself, you can tell yourself that you are too tired, have too many other things to do, don’t have time right now, the list goes on. Having a buddy makes you accountable. Walking with a buddy also addresses social isolation; you have somebody to do something with.
Lynette Ish-Green, Project Manager for Healthy Wayne, has been signing people up for the Wayne Walking Club at various events throughout the community. She says there are over 90 groups (consisting of at least 2 people) that are involved in the club. A team can consist of any number of people, but must have at least two members.
When you register for the club, you need to name your walking buddy(ies). Children as young as age 9 are welcome. It is important to make walking a part of their lifestyle at a young age so it becomes more of a natural part of their life. Each member of the team will get a pedometer to count their steps and a walking log on a lanyard to record their walking activity. Although the ultimate goal is 10,000 steps or 30 minutes of walking each day, any activity is considered a success if you haven’t been doing it before.
Once you have completed the first page of your walking log (31 days of walking) you will receive a prize from Healthy Wayne along with an entry into the quarterly drawing for a Fitbit. When you complete your second page in the log, you can get another entry into the drawing each quarter.
To sign up your team, you can see Brian Haddad or Lynette Ish-Green at HYPE Recreation Center in Wayne or at a Healthy Wayne table set up at community events.
As with any physical activity, you will want to check with your doctor before setting up a walking program. Once you are walking, using the pedometer and recording your steps and/or time spent walking, you will become more aware of how much physical activity you are doing. You may find that you are feeling better, can breathe easier or have a shift in your mental consciousness about your health. You will become aware of how much, or how little, you actually move each day.
Healthy Wayne has held two community health walks to date. The first was in June 2016 and invited those who worked in downtown Wayne to come out at lunch and walk with Mayor Susan Rowe. The recent walk was in April during National Walking Month. This walk included Goudy Park and Michigan Avenue. There were even a few vendors encouraging healthy lifestyles: Absopure provided water and Fresh Choice Market provided fruit snacks. DTE provided ways to save money on electricity. Money saved through reduction of those costs can be applied towards living a better, healthier life.
If you would like to learn more about Healthy Wayne, you can attend their monthly meetings on the last Thursday of the month at HYPE Recreation Center in Wayne. The meetings begin at 8:30 a.m.