Walk & Talk for Health starts May 7 in Penn Yan

Staff Writer
The Chronicle Express

It’s time to dust off those walking shoes, get outside, and come join Finger Lakes Health for the fifth season of the Walk & Talk for Health program. Walks begin May 6.

Community members are encouraged to join with Finger Lakes Health providers for a brief walk and to start improving their health. This free program will run one time per month for six months – May through October. In between the walks sponsored by the health system, walkers are encouraged to form teams of two to 10 people to walk more regularly and even to compete against other teams in the region.

Walks last 30 minutes each at three sites: Tuesdays in Geneva, Wednesdays in Penn Yan, and Thursdays in Waterloo. Walks in Penn Yan begin at 5:30 p.m. Walkers should plan to arrive a few minutes early to sign in and meet the walk leader.

Dates for the Penn Yan walks are:

Penn Yan: Wednesdays, May 7, June 4, July 2, August 6, September 3, and October 8.

Penn Yan walks will be on the Keuka Outlet Trail, starting at the Boat Launch off Liberty and Keuka streets. Please arrive a little before 5:30 p.m.

Walks will offer participants the opportunity to fit a little physical activity into their schedules, and to meet the healthcare providers in their community in an informal setting. All interested participants also will be given an opportunity to be part of the “What’s My Number” Health Improvement Group that will include blood pressure and body mass index checks, along with cholesterol and A1C (glucose) blood tests – all free of charge.

Walkers will be given a pedometer at the first walk they attend and will be invited to track their steps during the walks, as well as between the walks, to be entered in a drawing for a special prize. Additionally, the tracking of steps will offer walkers a way to help achieve their personal fitness goals. There will be prize drawings at each walk as well.

The Walk & Talk for Health program is an outgrowth of Finger Lakes Health’s collaboration with county Public Health Departments that looked at community health needs and how to address those needs. All three counties in Finger Lakes Health’s service area – Ontario, Seneca, and Yates – identified similar health priorities: reducing obesity in children and adults, and reducing hypertension rates. Walking can help achieve both goals.

“Finger Lakes Health’s Walk & Talk for Health program is intended to help address these priorities,” explained Loree MacKerchar, manager of Community Relations for Finger Lakes Health. “The walks will provide an opportunity for participants to meet doctors and other health professionals in an informal setting, and add a little physical activity to their day. Hopefully, the walks will help kick-start a regular exercise regimen after our very long winter.”

No reservations are needed, but those wishing more information can call Finger Lakes Health’s Community Services Department at 315-531-2053 or visit the website at www.flhealth.org/walktalk.