Nice day for a walk

Published 9:42 pm Thursday, March 30, 2017

A Suffolk organization encouraged citizens to be active at Lake Meade Park on Thursday.

Healthy Suffolk arranged a walk at Lake Meade Park with Suffolk Parks and Recreation for National Walk in the Park Day. More than 70 people came with family, friends and pets for an afternoon of casual exercise.

“Some people are fast walkers, some people are slow walkers,” Healthy Suffolk movement coordinator Deborah Nadell said. “It doesn’t matter how fast you are, as long as you are moving.”

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Walkers did laps around the park’s playground, each one-sixth of a mile. Suffolk resident Helen Blaylock walked more than two miles with her dog.

“The weather is great, and the walk is really nice,” she said.

Every walker received a ticket for every loop around the playground for a drawing featuring Panera, Starbucks, Walmart, Farm Fresh and Ruby Tuesday gift cards.

“The more you walk, the more tickets you get,” Blaylock said. “It spurs you on.”

Healthy Suffolk is committed to inspiring healthy lifestyles in the community. One step towards that goal is to get residents on their feet, as sitting for prolonged periods of time has many negative health effects, such as slowing body metabolism.

“We’re really conditioned by society to sit,” Nadell said. “It’s a hard habit to break.”

Simply walking gets blood flowing and works the body to get the heart pumping.

“It lowers your blood pressure, and it helps your cholesterol,” Blaylock said. “I think it’s good for your overall well-being.”

Windsor resident Amy Gunteski and her 9-year-old daughter Elise Gunteski visited Suffolk to see friends and joined them at Lake Meade.

“We both like being out and doing things,” Amy Gunteski said. “We ride and skate. We do karate. We run. I think it’s important.”
Elise said she enjoyed the day outside with her friends.

“It’s fun to go around with my friends,” she said.

Healthy Suffolk will also hold a Spring Garden Forum this Saturday at the Virginia Cooperative Extension Service office, 440 Market St., with registration at 8:30 a.m. Community and school gardens will be discussed along with education on garden successes and challenges. For more information, call 544-1846.