Prince George’s Co. health officials invite residents to walk

WASHINGTON — Exercise routines, like walking, have a much better chance of sticking if people do them with family or friends instead of solo. That’s the idea behind the “Step it Up: Family Fitness Club” program from the Prince George’s County Health Department.

The program invites residents to walk the county’s scenic parks, tracks and trails every first and third Wednesday from June to November.

“We find that the residents are coming out with their families, their friends, their neighbors, and so it becomes like a social fitness venue,” said Deborah McGruder with the county’s health department.

According to the health department, only 47.4 percent of adults in Prince George’s County are getting the recommended 150 minutes of “moderate-intensity aerobic activity” per week, as defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Walking comes with a long list of health benefits: It can help lower risk of high blood pressure, heart disease and diabetes along with strengthening muscles and bones.

“We have some that have said they will never miss a session because they look forward to it and that they feel better, and that they’re more committed to incorporating physical activity in their lives now,” McGruder said.

The next “Step it Up” event is Oct. 5 at the Northeast Branch Trail in College Park, Maryland. See the full schedule on the county’s health department website.

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