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Daly City's Walk About Celebrates First Birthday

Press Contact:  
Sue Horst, Supervisor, Daly City Senior Services
(650) 991-8014
February 'Talk About' To Feature Foot Care and Treatments

Daly 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 birthday cake.

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," Larsen quipped.

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 Medical Center.

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.