Healthy start to new year just a short walk awayWorthington Area YMCA hosting Heart Walk event on Jan. 14
WORTHINGTON — New Year’s resolutions can be tough to follow. But Worthington Area YMCA Health and Fitness director Ryan Seykora has a way to get those on the right path.
By: Aaron Hagen, Worthington Daily Globe
WORTHINGTON — New Year’s resolutions can be tough to follow.
But Worthington Area YMCA Health and Fitness director Ryan Seykora has a way to get those on the right path.
On Jan. 14, the YMCA is hosting its annual Heart Walk in an effort to promote healthy living and exercise.
“It gives people a reason to continue to exercise,” Seykora said. “It works out better hopefully this year than it did last year because it’s in January and will hopefully align with some people’s New Year’s resolutions to remain active and lose weight.”
For the first time, the event is in conjunction with Winterfest.
“This is the fourth year we’ve had it,” Seykora said. “We decided to incorporate it with Winterfest to continue to give people opportunities to take part in an event in the community that weekend.”
The activities at the YMCA will begin at 8:15 a.m. with a group cycling class. At 9 a.m., registration will begin, with the walk to kickoff at 9:30 a.m.. The cost is $10, and all participants will receive a T-shirt.
“We’ll all meet in the gym and go out for a walk and or run,” Seykora said. “People ran it last year, too. I call it a ‘Heart Walk,’ but we just want people to exercise. Whatever mode of exercise they choose, they can do.”
A year ago, the Heart Walk had 80 participants.
“The reason we were able to have more walkers last year was the unpredictability of the weather this time of year, but we gave people the option to walk indoors around the track or on the treadmill,” Seykora said. “If an individual doesn’t feel like they want to walk outside or it’s too cold, they still can exercise at the Y.”
This year, he is hoping for more participants.
“Obviously, we’d like to get in the 100-walker mark,” he said. “Maybe with Winterfest and other events in town, we’ll be able to do that. Always our goal is to exceed what we did the year before because that means more people are exercising. That continues to work in everybody’s advantage.”
While participants can register early by calling the YMCA at 376-6197, same-day registration is also an option. People don’t have to be a member of the YMCA to participate.
And while the winter has been mild so far, Seykora knows it could change by the time of the walk. But, with the ability to walk indoors, people can enjoy the event no matter what Mother Nature has in store.
“With the weather, we can run, but we can’t hide, I feel,” Seykora said. “We could have 60 degrees this weekend and the next thing you know, we could have 20 below, windy and a foot of snow. The time of year is a wild card.”
The walk will be approximately two miles, giving the opportunity for all ages to partake.
“It can be a great family event, as Winterfest is geared toward anyway,” Seykora said. “You can come out and walk and be active together. And you get a shirt.”
While the route is yet to be determined, Seykora is hoping to incorporate with other Winterfest events.
“I want to have our route connect with some other events that are going on,” he said. “It’s not a timed event; it’s not a race. So people get down there and see other people they want to talk to; we want to try to incorporate it and keep it together with Winterfest.”