MAITLAND, Fla., April 4, 2014 – On a beautiful Friday afternoon, more than 300 people who live and work around the Maitland business corridor came together to walk for a healthier community on the first marked, urban walking path in Central Florida. Healthy Central Florida is dedicated to improving community health and is helping launch “Maitland Walks”, an initiative to promote walking throughout Maitland. Part of this strategy includes creating a network of marked walking paths around the city. Healthy Central Florida, a community-based initiative created and supported by Florida Hospital and the Winter Park Health Foundation, helped launch the event to get people walking more and leading healthier lives.
National Walk to Work Day, a holiday that encourages walking to work, coincided with the launch of the new urban walking path. The initiative’s supporters hope that this event will motivate people in the community to make taking a walk a regular occurrence.
“The goal of this event was to introduce this new path to business and community leaders and to inspire people to choose walking over other modes of transportation as often as they can. Based on how much fun everyone had, we’re confident that’s been accomplished,” said Jill Hamilton Buss, executive director of Healthy Central Florida.
“Maitland Walks” is one of 10 local projects chosen to receive one of Healthy Central Florida’s inaugural Health Innovation Grants. Nearly 20 projects were considered and $25,000 in total was awarded to the winning applicants. These generous donations allowed for the projects’ innovators to make their dreams a reality and make each of their respective communities a better, healthier place.
Inactivity and related to that, obesity, isn’t just a problem in Central Florida. According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 72 million U.S. adults are considered overweight or obese. Obesity can lead to chronic and difficult to manage diseases like diabetes and heart disease. Making small but significant strides to a more active lifestyle can do a lot more than make America thinner. It can save lives.
“It just makes sense to try and be active during the work day,” said Karl Droppers, President of MVP Sports Clubs. “This path is just outside of our office so it’s easy to get a group together and go for a walk. Exercising with a group makes it more fun.”
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