A walk over lunchtime

Paul Bickford/NNSL photo
Susan Enge, left, and Kathleen Graham walk on the track of Diamond Jenness Secondary School on June 16.

A lunchtime walking program has begun on the track at Diamond Jenness Secondary School.

The exercise initiative began on June 14, when 10 people showed up for the first of the walking sessions, which are held from noon to 1 p.m. on specific days.

Dale Loutit, the recreation programmer with the Town of Hay River, said she was somewhat surprised by that good turnout.

“It’s awesome,” she said.

Loutit also hosted lunchtime walking in July and August of last summer.

“It was good,” she said of the turnout back then. “I had probably about four to six people that showed up.”

This summer, Loutit is trying to attract more people by providing a goal – walking the combined equivalent distance to the Banff Hot Springs.

“It’s 1,456 kilometres to get there,” she noted. “So I’m letting people track their own laps.”

She gives people a brochure on which they record how far they have walked.

Along with the goal, Loutit is also providing the walkers with some incentives.

Walkers can enter to win a prize at the end of the lunchtime sessions on Aug. 25 and there will also be random prizes throughout the summer.

Loutit hopes there will continue to be higher numbers participating this summer, especially with the incentives.

“It’s just a way to get everyone together where they can have physical activity and socialize at the same time,” she said.

Plus, Loutit – who also walks – noted that walking is good for a person’s health.

The recreation programmer offers free bottled water to the walkers, and plays music.

“Everybody likes to listen to music while they’re walking,” she noted.

On June 16, Susan Enge and Kathleen Graham were walking around the track together.

“I have a goal of losing some weight and getting my cardio health better,” said Enge.

“It’s safer this way instead of trying to run or sprint,” she said of walking. “Just take your time and enjoy your lunch, and get some exercise.”

Graham said walking on the track is a great way to get out of the office and get some exercise.

“You don’t have to worry about bears coming up behind you like if you’re walking on the nature trail,” she noted.

The remaining 12 walking sessions on the track will be held on June 26 and 28, July 10, 12, 24, 26 and 28, and Aug. 9, 11, 21, 23 and 25.

-Paul Bickford