A Walk in the Park
// Walk Tacoma provides an opportunity to get active
Downtown On the Go’s Walk Tacoma series kicked off April 4 in Wright Park, bringing fitness buffs and history lovers together for two unique excursions designed to encourage the community to get active and explore the city. The event included a power walk with fitness trainer Paige Van Der Vliet of Tacoma Living Fit, and a historical walk led by Melissa McGinnis, an employee of Metro Parks, and Erik Hanberg of Metro Parks Commission.
The kickoff event coincided with National Walking Day, an initiative sponsored by the American Heart Association (AHA) that encourages employees to wear their walking shoes to work and take at least 30 minutes out of the day to get up and get active.
AHA statistics show that one in two men and one in three women are at risk for heart disease, and poor lifestyle choices and inactivity are serious contributing factors. By making the choice to get active for a short time each day, these risks can be drastically reduced. “We’re trying to encourage people to get out in the community and get active, while walking for health and fitness,” said Downtown On the Go Coordinator Meagan Kula.
The series continues April 20 from noon to 1 p.m., with a walk through the Brewery District to south downtown, led by local historian Michael Sullivan or Metro Parks representative Janet Bissell. Walkers can choose between a power walk or history walk during each event.
Through a partnership with the AHA, Walk Tacoma aims to help people explore the city, parks and historical sites. “It is our goal to help people realize that downtown is more walkable than ever,” said Downtown on the Go Manager Kristina Walker.
Held in different locations throughout Tacoma, the series is designed to encourage people to adopt a healthy, active lifestyle and for companies to encourage their employees to incorporate physical activity into their day.
According to AHA, walking is the single most effective form of exercise to achieve heart health, and the organization was eager to partner with Downtown on the Go on the series. “We promote walking for heart health, and we’re happy to join forces with Downtown On the Go,” said AHA Development Director Julia Falvey.
Hanberg was happy to lend his knowledge of the area by leading a historical walk during the kickoff. “It’s exciting to be here leading a walk through one of the oldest parks in Tacoma,” he said. “There are so many interesting facts about this park that people might not realize.”
Each walk is about a mile and a half, and takes place either during a lunch hour or just after 5 p.m. For a complete schedule of events, see below. Walking maps are available at no cost at Downtown On the Go, located at 950 Pacific Ave., at many downtown businesses, or by e-mailing email@example.com.
Walk Tacoma 2012 Schedule
April 20 – 12-1 p.m. in front of The Swiss
June 6 – 5:15-6:15 p.m. at the base of the UW-Tacoma stairs
June 22 – 12-1 p.m. at the corner South 9th Street and Broadway
Aug. 1 – 5:15 p.m., at South 11th Street and Broadway
Aug. 17 – 12-1 p.m. at Tollefson Plaza
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