“Run Walk Club helps with accountability to start walking, jogging, or running on a regular basis,” said LIVE FOR LIFE fitness program manager Stacy Rankin. “This program benefits employees of all fitness levels by helping to improve their mood, cardiovascular health and muscular endurance.”
LIVE FOR LIFE fitness staff will lead an in-person beginner walking group at 5:30 p.m. on Mondays and Wednesdays to bring together a community of walkers around the East Campus loop across from Whole Foods. The group is designed to help staff and faculty get back into the routine of activity at an approachable pace.
Participants in the group will meet in the grassy area near the Duke Softball stadium across the street from the Duke Human Resources building at 705 Broad St. Sessions will run about one hour and will include dynamic stretches and a walk around the East Campus loop.
Staff and faculty can also participate in the spring session of the club through the self-guided virtual component, which started during the pandemic.
“We’re bringing back the in-person component for beginner walkers, so employees can also enjoy socializing with one another during guided walks,” Rankin said.
Tamika Craige, a program specialist in the Office of the Duke University Health System Professional Practice, plans to participate in the in-person meetings on Mondays and Wednesdays to complement her individual daily morning routine of pushups and sit-ups with social connection over exercise.
“Unity is always good,” said Craige, who has participated virtually in Run/Walk Club during the pandemic. “There’s strength in numbers, and we can encourage each other. When we are actually walking with others, it’s not as boring as doing it alone.”
Participants at all fitness levels can register, track and report running and walking to earn LIVE FOR LIFE dollars — monopoly-like money used for fitness items like water bottles, yoga mats and Fitbits.
Beth Doyle, head of the Duke University Libraries Conservation Services Department, plans to participate in the virtual spring offering to build back up to running and to earn enough LIVE FOR LIFE dollars for binoculars.
Doyle, who has participated in Run/Walk Club for 12 years, gets her exercise through weekend hikes in the area and by taking early morning walks before work.
This spring, she will use the club to help her stay accountable to Couch to 5K running program that’ll prepare her for a race later this summer, though she hasn’t decided yet which one she’ll do.
“I’m a morning person and so I try to do hard things or fun things before I come to work,” Doyle said. “One of the hard things often is getting myself out there to exercise before work. It just sets up the day.”