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Healthy Life Center launching Walking Club in Cape

By Staff | Sep 27, 2017

Cape Coral residents are invited to lace up their sneakers and join a new walking group.

Lee Health’s Healthy Life Center is a launching a new Walking Club on Wednesdays at 7 a.m. at the Wellness Center – Cape Coral. Free and open to the public, the first meeting will be held Oct. 4.

Molly Grubbs, director of the Healthy Life Center, explained that over the summer the Estero-based center partnered up with the Cape facility to bring in new programs and initiatives for the community.

“We thought that the Walking Club would be a great addition,” she said, adding that more people are taking classes at the Cape center and putting more time and effort into leading a healthier lifestyle.

Grubbs also pointed to Cape Coral Hospital’s Pathway to Discovery. The 1.7-mile paved route features a teaching garden with butterfly-friendly plants, exercise stations, a pond and a healing garden.

“We thought it would be a great opportunity to use that path,” she said.

There are many benefits of walking, including:

* Improving blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar levels

* Helping people maintain their body weight and lower their risk of obesity

* Enhancing mood and mental well-being

* Improving memory and thinking skills

“It is something everybody can do, regardless of age and fitness ability,” Grubbs said.

Members of the Estero club participate for different reasons.

“The making friends part has really been the popular benefit down here. People just enjoy getting together on a weekly basis and catching up,” she said. “There is also some accountability to it.”

Participants can log their miles to earn items, like a sports water bottle for 25 miles, a T-shirt for 50 miles and a hat for 75 miles. Grubbs explained that coordinators wanted to get people motivated.

“So, we created different incentives,” she said.

“We’ve got one person that got 100 miles last year,” Grubbs added.

Unlike the Estero group, the Cape club will offer something a little extra.

“We’re going to have some wellness speakers that are going to walk with the group,” she said. “We might have a walking with your dog day, a lifestyle coach who will do some fun brain activities.”

Topics may include healthy eating, stretching and smoothie making.

“We have plans to add just a little more internal programing within the club,” Grubbs said.

For the group’s first meeting, Lee Health President and Chief Executive Officer Larry Antonucci will join the club on the walk around the Cape Hospital campus and along the Pathway to Discovery.

“I am excited to join the Healthy Life Walking Club for their inaugural walk,” Antonucci said in a prepared statement. “The Pathway to Discovery and the Cape Coral Hospital campus provide a great venue. The benefits of walking and expanding your social circle are undeniable, and I am excited for those who join the club to reap those rewards.”

Grubbs noted that there is no registration; participants just show up.

She recommended that they come dress comfortably.

“It’s still pretty hot, so most of our walkers wear hats and sunscreen,” Grubbs said.

“We provide water afterward for people to rehydrate,” she added.

Coordinators are hoping for a good turnout in the Cape.

“I do think in Cape Coral that the demographic there is a little bit different. I’m thinking that there will be some strong participation,” Grubbs said. “We’ll have to see what the reception is.”

For more information, contact 239-424-3210 or HealthyLifeCenter@Lee Health.org.

The Wellness Center – Cape Coral is at 609 S.E. 13th Court.