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Photo courtesy of Healthy Central Florida - You don't have to join an organized group to get going. The Walk90 Challenge makes it easier, with a fitness tracker program that helps keep you motivated, and potential prizes at the end of the year.
Winter Park / Maitland Observer Thursday, Sep. 15, 2016 10 months ago

Ninety-day challenge makes it fun to stay in shape

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Program tracks steps
by: Nancy Rudner

Can you feel it? Slight breeze, cooler air? Time for walking! And now we have a community-wide walk challenge for all levels and all ages to motivate you!

The Healthy Central Florida Walk90 Challenge is a free, fun, simple and doable 90-day walking program. You log your steps Oct. 1 to Dec. 29 for some great prizes. Join individually or as a church, school or employer group. Great prizes add to the fun and motivation. Sign up at www.hcf.walkertracker.com and check out the rules and prizes at that link. You track your distances with a smartphone app (many are free), other tracking device, or pen and paper. Healthy Central Florida’s online program syncs easily with most fitness-tracking devices. And if you don’t have a smartphone or fitness tracker, you can get a pedometer from Healthy Central Florida.

This is for all fitness levels, whether you are just starting to make walking part of your life or have been putting one foot in front of the other for miles. The beauty of walking is that it is uncomplicated, with no membership fees, no special equipment, no special hours. Just you, your feet (with good shoes) and a few minutes or hours under the Central Florida skies is all you need. Along with your family, friends, or teammates.

Let your feet take you through one of our great parks or canopied streets. Check out these links to see some walking maps to get you started http://tinyurl.com/Maitlandwalks and http://tinyurl.com/CFwalkpaths

Just how good is walking for you? Walking helps not just your body, but your mind and spirit too. Walking lowers your risk of diabetes, hypertension and heart disease. Walkers are also less likely to get osteoporosis, cancer or dementia.

Walking curbs your appetite and burns about 232 calories in an hour (more if are bigger than average, less if you are petite). Walking builds your heart muscle, endurance and strong bones.

Walking can be very social. Get to know your neighbors. Walks and talks via cell phone give you a chance to reconnect with faraway friends. The solitude of walking by yourself can make you more centered and calm. You can solve all the problems of the world.

If you have any kind of heart, lung or joint problem, check with your health care provider before heading out the door for a walk. Put your feet in good walking shoes, with good socks. Wear bright colors so drivers and bikers can’t miss seeing you. Know where you are walking. Be street smart and safe.

But most important of all, get out, enjoy your walk under our great Central Florida skies and make it a special part of your routine.

Dr. Nancy Rudner, local workplace nurse coach with HealthAction.biz, helps individuals and employees understand their health, make healthy choices and achieve their health goals. Send your questions to [email protected]

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