Health and Fitness – Who Wants to Walk?

Walk, skip, run, jog, crawl, stroll, saunter, or ramble your way to a fun event on April 29 that will help loads of people get healthy or stay healthy. Put on your favorite sneakers and head for Theis Park in Kansas City for the annual AIDS Walk.

Let’s start with a walk down Memory Lane. The first AIDS Walk was held in Los Angeles in July 1985. That was just a few years after we became aware of the disease and it entered our lexicon. Starting with a goal of $100,000, this inaugural event actually raised more than $600,000 for the cause.

The Kansas City AIDS Walk 2017 has a goal of raising half a million dollars this year. And that ain’t gonna happen if you stay home. Wake the kids and phone the neighbors. It will take a whole village to make this happen.

It’s spring in the heartland of America. Picture the chirping birds, the blooming flowers, the sunshine and the mild temperatures. Perfect for a hearty walk!

Let’s try that again. It’s spring in the heartland of America. It might be snowing, raining, or hailing. You just need to be ready for any healthy adventure. Pack appropriately, and make the best of any conditions you are facing.

At 3.5 miles long, the walk is about 7,000 steps. It takes most people between 60 and 90 minutes to complete that distance. But regardless, go and make this event your own. Take as little time or as long as you want to complete this task of wellness and altruism.

The walk is free. That’s awesome. But you can set up a fundraising campaign and get friends, family, and neighbors to support you by donating, which raises money and builds awareness for HIV/AIDS. And you can earn prizes for your fundraising efforts. Cue the applause sign!

You can also use this incredible event as that spark that can change your life. It’s OK that you and exercise haven’t exactly been friends. Who knows? You might go a little Casablanca and announce to the exercise gods on this day that “I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.”

You will not be alone at AIDS Walk. It doesn’t matter whether you arrive that day as a party of one or a party of 20. You will be part of something much bigger than you and all those gathered there. That is probably the healthiest and happiest reason to come. To realize we are making a huge difference in the world and that we are all a party of ONE!

This wellness column is brought to you by that guy of ambulatory ambitions. He is Ron Blake and he can be spotted roving at rblake5551@hotmail.com.

Ron Blake

Ron Blake, a personal fitness trainer in Phoenix, has been training individuals and groups for 15 years. He has also coached high school cross-country and track teams in Indiana and California. He was born in Gary, Ind., and Indiana University awarded him bachelor and master's degrees (as long as he agreed to quietly leave the state!) Visit his website, www.myblakefitness.com for more information.