Strap on your shoes and take a walk for health

September 23, 2011
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Building a Healthier Austin will host a five-kilometer “Walk for Health,” this Saturday, Sept. 24, beginning 10 a.m. at La Follette Park, 1333 N. Laramie Ave., and ending at Columbus Park, 500 S. Central Ave.

The walk is an effort to “take the park district outside of the parks, so that everybody can see that it is OK to walk,” said Athena Williams, the community liaison committee chair for Building a Healthier Austin, an initiative of the larger Building a Healthier Chicago group.

Following the walk, the group will host a healthy lunch at Columbus Park and a “Fitness is Fun” Expo from 12:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. that will aim to teach participants about the value of physical activity.

The expo will feature volunteers who will demonstrate exercises and physical activities for children.

Williams, who has lived in Austin for about 20 years, said the event will promote both fitness and community engagement.

“Physical activity goes hand in hand with increasing social interaction … because people from different parts of the community will be coming together in this walk,” Williams said. “For people to see a group coming together, to come out and walk like this, it makes a social statement to the Austin community.”

Originally, the target number was 100 participants, but thanks to a strong response, Building a Healthier Austin is expecting about 250 people on the street, including a large group of students from Ella Flagg Young Elementary School, 1434 N. Parkside Ave.

Williams is excited about the participation from the school.

“[The walk for health] is important for children and adult residents, but the target is for children to see the adults [being physically active],” Williams said. “And for children to come with their parents and see a positive interaction with adults.”

Those wishing to participate in the “Walk for Health” can register for the event at LaFollette Park on Saturday beginning at 8 a.m. Building a Healthier Chicago is still seeking volunteers for the event; to volunteer, call 773-887-4046

austintalks.org@gmail.com

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