Wellness Walking: More Than a Stroll Through the Park

On January 4, 2020, Dick Pond Athletics-St. Charles launched its first Walk4Wellness program, indoors at the Sportsplex in St. Charles. A complement to the popular Walk2Run program, Walk4Wellness (W4W) is a supervised, progressive 10-week training that is designed to improve cardiorespiratory and muscular strength and endurance.

The decision to offer a walking program was a purposeful one; an attempt to reach individuals interested in pursuing greater levels of fitness while keeping both feet closer to the ground. Through intervals and drills as well as training on form and cadence, participants walk to improve fitness markers, and to have fun. And the 10 weeks can serve as a great foundation for Walk2Run.

“We’re changing the narrative on walking,” says Mary Meyer, W4W Coach. “It’s not just for people who can’t currently run. Fitness walking has proven to be a great moderate-to-vigorous intensity workout if done correctly.” Many studies show that walking with purpose can have a significant effect on hypertension, cholesterol levels and diabetes risk reduction. It’s also proven to reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety.

In its first week the program has 47 registrants. “Offering this program helps us to reach even more people with the Dick Pond message,” says Glen Kamps, Manager of the St. Charles location. “We’re here to help anyone who wants to improve their health, and become part of a community of people who support one another.” The current indoor session will be followed by outdoor 10-week sessions. For more information, or to register, visit the Walk4Wellness page at https://stcharles.dickpondathletics.com/walk4wellness/