Williamsburg - February 20 2006 -As the crow flies, about 9,025 miles now separate the Allred family from the walking group they joined in Williamsburg, Virginia. But that doesnt stop this family of seven from participating in Williamsburg WalkAbout, Sentaras community walking program.
When the family moved to Wellington, New Zealand last year, they already had two years of walking under their belt and were pleasantly surprised to find avid walkers near their new home. Today, the family is still logging their miles, and the Williamsburg WalkAbout newsletter is among the mail they continue to receive from the U.S.
"Not only has our health improved because of regular walking, we are getting very strong legs because our walks now often involve hills and gusty winds off the Tasman Sea," says Kristyn Allred, mother of five.
Before joining the walking club, the children who range in age from 5 to 13 years old enjoyed their Sunday walks together as a family.
"Now we are much more enthusiastic walkers. Since joining the walking club my children and husband compete for who has the most steps at the end of the day," says Allred.
The Allreds are like many people involved in Sentara's community walking program once they get started, almost nothing hinders their commitment to walking.
Our purpose is to get people of all ages walking for their life-long health, said Beth Broxton, Sentara Williamsburg Community Hospital Education Specialist.
Sentara Healthcare is a premier not-for-profit health care provider in southeastern Virginia and northeastern North Carolina.
Sentara Williamsburg's WalkAbout program, established five years ago, offers more than health benefits to walkers. To encourage the healthy habit of walking, the program offers a range of incentives for logging walks and milesfrom pedometers and fleece jackets to gift cards and amusement park season passes. Walkers meet twice weekly at the James City Williamsburg Community Center. For more information about the program, call (757) 259-8745.