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Senior citizens walk to Los Angeles without leaving safety of Obion County

Senior citizens walk to Los Angeles without leaving safety of Obion County
Senior citizens walk to Los Angeles without leaving safety of Obion County | Senior citizens walk to Los Angeles without leaving safety of Obion County

Obion County Senior Citizens Center executive director Margaret Cook (left) and Betty Kean of Union City celebrated senior citizens’ feat of “walking” to Los Angeles along Route 66.
By DONNA RYDER
Associate Editor
“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step,” philosopher Lao Tzu is quoted as saying.
At the beginning of the month, senior citizens in Obion County started taking their steps and together have managed to walk the equivalent of one of the most famous highways in America — Route 66.
Obion County Senior Citizens Center executive director Margaret Cook was able to circle the seniors’ destination of Los Angeles on Monday, marking 2,694 miles or 5,388,000 steps on their journey — all part of the Walk with Walgreens program.
When asked by the seniors who had met their goal in less than a month where they planned to “walk” now, Ms. Cook said, “We’ll do what Forrest Gump did: We’ll turn around and walk home.”
And that’s exactly what they plan to do, hoping to get even more senior citizens on board.
According to a press release from Walgreens, numerous health studies show that as little as 30 minutes of walking per day can help reduce one’s risk of cancer, heart disease and diabetes. That’s why in April, the company launched Walk with Walgreens — a program encouraging Americans to walk more and rewarding participants for every step they take on the road to better health.
Locally, senior citizens can receive Walk with Walgreens membership kits at the Obion County Senior Citizens Center between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. Mondays through Fridays and help the local center win $500. The center is in competition with eight other northwest Tennessee counties to see which senior citizens center can register the most steps taken by their residents ages 50 and older between Sept. 1-30. Mileage is reported by seniors on Mondays and Wednesdays.
Ms. Cook said Walgreens wants senior citizens to be active. She stressed the Walk with Walgreens program is not about an organized exercise program, but about moving every day by simply doing every day chores.
“I am so glad that Walgreens has started this walking program for seniors. These kits were given to all seniors on the first of September and we are in a contest,” Norma Mobbs said, adding “This is a very good thing and it has everyone walking. Here at the center, we are becoming so conscious of health, exercise and eating habits.”
“We are happy that Walgreens provided this program so seniors will be able to benefit from this program,” Dennis Knight said.
“We are very excited about this walking program and it helps give us lots of energy,” Peggy Knight added.
“I love the way it makes me get up and walk and do things,” Bess Speed said.
“The walking program is great. It gets you up and going all day,” Sarah Rice agreed, with Violet Dinwiddie adding, “Walking is the best way to stay healthy in mind and soul.”
Actually, anyone can participate and be rewarded in the Walk with Walgreens program, according to the press release from the company.
Walk with Walgreens (www.walgreens.com/walk) is an online community and digital platform that enables members to log the steps they take and get rewards, in the form of weekly coupons, redeemable at Walgreens stores nationwide.
The site also provides information about the health benefits of walking and helps participants with setting walking goals.
“Walk with Walgreens inspires people to take the small steps that lead to a well-life, making walking even more rewarding,” said Kim Feil, Walgreens chief marketing officer. “We’re creating a simple, national walking movement — walk, log, get rewards. It’s another way we’re educating and engaging our customers to help them stay well and live well.”
The Walk with Walgreens website contains a variety of interactive features and information on the four pillars of balanced wellness: health, community, nature and relationships.
Site features include:
• Video content series — weekly video and blog posts from host Alison Sweeney;
• Rewards — members receive a starter kit with exclusive wellness product and service offers, as well as regular rewards and coupons from a variety of health and wellness brands when steps are logged;
• Professional and guest contributors — unique insight and advice from experts in the fields of health, wellness, cause and the environment;
• User-generated content — opportunities for members to share inspiring stories, ideas, favorite walking venues and other information;
• Forum/community — create your own profile page, search, message and connect with fellow walking friends;
• Charity walks — links to cause partner sites provide members with quick reference to walks of interest in their area;
• Social publishing features — easy-to-use publishing features, including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and others allow members to share walks, stories and other content with those outside the site.
Anyone can register online at www.walgreens.com/walk, where they will receive a virtual starter kit to begin the program. Registration is also available in the photo department at any Walgreens store or by texting “walk” to 21525.
Residents wishing to help the Obion County Senior Citizens Center win the contest this month may find out more information by calling Ms. Cook at 885-1246.
Associate Editor Donna Ryder can be contacted by email at dryder@ucmessenger.com.
Published in The Messenger 9.21.11

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