City – Members of the Daly City Walk
About at Serramonte Center are getting ready to
celebrate a special birthday, the group's first
anniversary, on Friday, February 2nd. Some may
have secretly picked up the pace, hoping to burn
a few more extra calories, to make room for a
generous slice of what surely will be a delicious
The Walk About program is a twice-weekly, 1½-mile
hike inside the regional mall, designed to connect
Greater Daly City seniors with the network of
service agencies and assistance programs in the
area. For the past year, starting around 8:45
every Wednesday and Friday morning, about 70 to
80 residents gather inside Serramonte Center,
don their walking shoes, and step off to a fairly
innovative, practical, and free fitness workout.
"The Daly City Walk About program has proven to
be a welcome activity to combine fitness, wellness
and social fun in one convenient session," said
Sue Horst of the city's Senior Services unit.
Serramonte Center General Manager Linda Larsen
came up with the idea after reading a 1999 San
Mateo County health report citing that nearly
three out of four adults in the county exhibit
at least one risk factor for cardiovascular disease.
A collaboration between Daly City Senior Services,
Seton Medical Center, Stonestown YMCA and Serramonte
Mall was quickly formed. Together, these four
North County organizations have provided the leadership
and support for the Walk About.
Why the mall? In a city better known for its year-round
fog than its walking trails, Serramonte Mall was
a natural choice. It is a venue that offers a
safe and level track for adults and seniors to
walk leisurely or briskly, or do warm-ups and
cool downs, too. The enclosed 865,000-square foot
regional shopping center has ample space for fitness
seekers, combined with a scenic backdrop of over
130 specialty store windows. There won't be any
fast-tempo aerobic music to jar sensitive, early
morning nerves. Only soothing, piped-in background
sounds will greet mall walkers.
"Rain or shine, the mall provides no excuses,
or easy outs, for reluctant Walk About members,"
To promote health education, Talk About, a series
of informational workshops, is offered on the
first Friday of each month. Agency partners, which
include the San Mateo County Health Services Agency,
Public Health Department and Commission on Aging,
SamTrans, Stanford Patient Education Research
Center, Self Help for the Elderly, Senior Focus,
the Wellness Center, Health Plan of San Mateo,
as well as the City of Daly City's Police and
Fire Departments, assist in hosting Talk About
workshops. A host of practical topics are scheduled
during the year. On February 2nd, a workshop on
foot care and treatments will be conducted by
the Serramonte Podiatry Group.
Walk About members have also been treated to celebrity
appearances by the likes of the Bay Area's own
baseball legend pitcher Vida Blue. To encourage
repeaters, incentives have also been recently
added to the program, rewarding attendees of 20
or more Walk Abouts.
"Walk About's best benefit of all, of course,
is better health. Walking helps maintain weight,
helps control blood pressure, increases HDL (the
'good' cholesterol), enhances muscle strength
and balance, wards off depression and anxiety,
helps prevent osteoporosis and reduces the risk
of certain cancers," noted Judy Macias of Seton
The no-cost exercise program caters to all levels,
from beginners to advanced walkers. Warm-ups are
usually led by qualified staff from the Stonestown
YMCA, or one of Doelger Center's volunteers. To
assist in monitoring the participants, a Seton
Hospital nurse is on-site each first Friday, and
when necessary, is able to provide medical intervention.
To participate, walkers will need to register
with Walk About volunteers at 8:45 a.m., on Wednesday
or Friday, at Serramonte Mall. Use the entrance
south of Marie Callendar's Restaurant.
For further information, call the City of Daly
City Senior Services Division at (650) 991-8014.