Run and walk for fitness this fall

Published 9:49 pm Thursday, September 18, 2014

The temperatures are getting cooler, and the humidity is dropping. One of the best things about fall, to me, is that it’s better running weather.

Walking and running will be big things in Suffolk this fall. With a little motivation, they might even become habits for some new people.

There’s the Suffolk versus Suffolk challenge, in which Suffolk, England, has challenged its sister city of Suffolk, Va., to a walk-off. So far, we seem to be whooping the Brits, but let’s not get too proud — a few days of couch potatoes here in Virginia could lead to an upset by the folks across the pond.

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The challenge goes until Oct. 5, and all you have to do is track your steps with a pedometer and report your tally on the Healthy People Healthy Suffolk website, Click on “Events” and then “Million Steps.”

A good way to get all your steps in is to go to one of the Wednesday Walks programs the Suffolk Partnership for a Healthy Community holds every Wednesday.

The 30-minute walk is held at a different location every week:

  • First Wednesday — Visitor Center Pavilion, 524 N. Main St.
  • Second Wednesday — St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 213 N. Main St.
  • Third Wednesday, Health and Human Services Building, 135 Hall Ave.
  • Fourth Wednesday, North Suffolk Library, 2000 Bennetts Creek Park Road

The partnership and its Suffolk on the Move program have their annual Peanut Fest 5K Run/Walk and 1-Mile Walk coming up on Oct. 4 starting at Constant’s Wharf, 110 E. Constance Road. The event begins at 7:30 a.m., with check-in beginning at 6:30 a.m. and warm-up at 7:15. The event is free (although canned goods to support local food banks are requested), and there’s no pressure to finish under a specific time because it’s not officially timed.

You can also get your walk on while raising money for good causes. One of those is the Western Tidewater Walk to End Alzheimer’s coming up this Saturday, also beginning at Constant’s Wharf. Registration begins at 8:30 a.m., with a ceremony at 9:30 a.m. and the walk at 10 a.m. You’re sure to meet your steps goal if you participate in this event, and it will help support research to fight a dreaded disease as well.

Plenty of other events this fall — from Peanut Fest to Homearama — aren’t necessarily all about walking and fitness, but they sure involve plenty of steps. You’ll want to make sure you track your steps. You’ll be amazed at how much physical activity you have when you’re having fun.