Discover Edmonds while staying healthy with walking group

EDMONDS — All are invited to see the sights, breathe the salt air and walk their way to good health as they make new friends and discover Edmonds through a new weekly walking program.

Health professionals have tied walking with slowing the aging process plus reducing the risk of diabete

s and certain types of cancers.

“Walking is a perfect low-impact solution to maintaining good health,” said Carrie Hite, director of Edmonds Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services department. “It’s not expensive, it’s easy, it promotes community connections and social well-being, it’s great for the environment and it has great long-term health benefits.”

The city of Edmonds in cooperation with the Edmonds Senior Center now offers an organized weekly walk. Step Out Edmonds is every Tuesday throughout the summer, gathering at the Edmonds Senior Center at 9:15 a.m. for an hourlong stride through town. A $10, one-time fee covers the cost of a T-shirt and post-walk snacks.

“Walking is described as the king of exercises,” said Farrell Fleming, director of the senior center. “And Edmonds is a good place to walk.”

New routes are plotted each week so participants do not become bored. Routes also are available for walkers of different abilities, from long-time walkers and exercise participants to serious couch potatoes.

The walking group, for the next few weeks led by local business and city leaders, currently attracts 10 to 15 people each week. Mayor Mike Cooper led the inaugural walk June 28.

Hite spearheaded a similar walking program with the city of Kirkland, where she previously worked. She found walking the city streets fun and a great way to get to know neighborhoods and local shops. More than 300 people signed up, and one contingent continued the regime throughout the year.

“This program was developed to encourage otherwise sedentary adults to walk regularly for fun and fitness,” Hite said.

“I encourage everyone to walk. Bring along the kids, grandkids, aunts, uncles, moms, dads, cousins, friends and neighbors and get out and walk.” Hite hopes to see the program grow.

“I would like to see 100 bright-orange shirts descend on the streets of Edmonds every Tuesday morning,” she said. “The plan is to continue to offer it every summer. I would love to see businesses get involved, invitations to other cities to bring more people to Edmonds to walk, and sponsorships that would help support it.”

Step Out Edmonds

What: The Step Out Edmonds walking group is open to all ages and experience levels

When: 9:15-10:30 a.m. Tuesdays through Aug. 30

Where: Meet at the Edmonds Senior Center, 220 Railroad Ave.

Cost: $10 (one-time fee)

For more information, go to http://southcountyseniorcenter.org

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