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Walking Clubs: A Friend in Stride

Walking with others is good for body and soul.
Walking with others is good for body and soul.
Photo copyright by Steve Partridge, licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 license

Walking alone can be a wonderful way to get in tune with your own body and clear out your own mind. But sometimes you might rather have someone to talk to while you work out.

Having one or more exercise partners is great because you’re all in it together. You have support in your endeavors.

“Good social support is vital for good exercise adherence,” according to the Exercise and Physical Fitness Web Page of Georgia State University. “Having a regularly scheduled exercise time, at which others are depending on you, is an excellent way of ensuring that you maintain high exercise adherence.”

An International Journal of Stress Management study has shown that group exercisers feel calmer after their workouts, although the faster pace can make them tireder. This may be due to a potential increased competition or workload.

The Web site weightlossforall.com may put it best: “What makes teaming up with others for exercising so satisfying? The benefits of social exercise are pretty clear: companionship, motivation, support, encouragement, friendship, and fun. Safety is another reason for exercising with others, especially outdoors. On days when we’d rather stay put, a commitment to others can get us out of our chairs.”

These benefits are easily attained in the Capital District. Several walking clubs have been formed in the region, so you can exercise in the best of company.

One such group is the Empire State Capital Volkssporters. The German word there means “popular sports,” as in group walking, where everyone is welcome. Interactive maps for each scheduled walk are listed on the Web site, and newsletters and club meeting schedules will help you find your walking partners.

If you’re more into hiking than strolling, try the Taconic Hiking Club. Hikes and other adventures (like kayaking) around the Capital District and the Berkshires are planned. The site also lists a slew of other hiking clubs and nature news bulletins.

Saratoga Stryders has a place for walkers, too: “Our program is broad enough to accommodate the interests of everyone--from beginning walkers and runners to veteran marathoners.” The Web site lists workout schedules and great places to exercise.

So may you walk with good company, wherever you choose to go!

Comments

  • Semaj 4 years ago

    Another great article Jennie!

  • Silence Dogood 4 years ago

    I got in the best shape of my life in my early 30's when I joined a fitness group. It was one of those boot camp-type programs and, really, it wasn't the routine that got me in shape but the cameraderie. We had lots of rituals designed to encourage, support and prod each other and it had tremendous effect.

    I suppose there are those independent souls that can dance around a fire alone at their own Fort Sedgwick, but I think being part of a walking or fitness group is a more effective approach for the majority of us.

    Thanks for the article!

    SD

  • Silence Dogood 4 years ago

    I got in the best shape of my life in my early 30's when I joined a fitness group. It was one of those boot camp-type programs and, really, it wasn't the routine that got me in shape but the cameraderie. We had lots of rituals designed to encourage, support and prod each other and it had tremendous effect.

    I suppose there are those independent souls that can dance around a fire alone at their own Fort Sedgwick, but I think being part of a walking or fitness group is a more effective approach for the majority of us.

    Thanks for the article!

    SD

  • Peter Pan 4 years ago

    Happy Birthday Jenie!