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Walkers hit the bricks in downtown Flint for National Walking Day

10796967-largeOriginal story by Orrin Shawl for MLive
April 05, 2012

Flint, MI — The American Heart Association and its supporters took strides in downtown Flint today in promoting healthier lifestyles.

In honor of National Walking Day, the American Heart Association recruited more than 100 participants in the downtown Flint area to walk for 30 minutes at noon around South Saginaw Street and through the University of Michigan-Flint’s campus.

The walk was hosted by The Flint Journal/MLive Media Group along with The Spencer Agency, Buckham Gallery, Genesee Regional Chamber of Commerce and the Crim Fitness Foundation, and featured Disc Jockey Dan McPhail.

American Heart Association Director of Communications Stacy Sawyer said this is the third year in a row it has held National Walking Day nationwide.

It’s the first time it was held in downtown Flint.

“It’s a call to Americans to get out and start moving,” Sawyer said. “It was a great turnout for it being a first-year event.”

Not only was the walk in downtown Flint a good way for those downtown to get a good workout, but it also gave businesses in the area a good chance to promote themselves.

Crim Fitness Foundation Active Living Director Lauren Holaly said the organization was able to give out information about the Crim Fitness Fountation in addition to handing out pedometers to help participants keep track of their walking distance.

“It’s a good way to get the message out,” Holaly said. “We always want to be part of events that involve health and fitness. We try to lead by example.”

According to the Heart Association, walking for at least 30 minutes a day can have several benefits, including the ability to help maintain body weight, reduce the risk of breast and colon cancer and increase life expectancy.

“The American Heart Association promotes walking because it is one of the easiest exercises you can do. It’s inexpensive, you can do it anywhere and people don’t have too many injuries from walking,” Sawyer added.

The walk included several employees from the event’s sponsors, including the Community Outreach Manager Kyle McCree.

“It’s good exercise, and it’s even more fun when everyone is out here doing it together,” McCree said.

The walk also encouraged Burton resident Debora Thompson and her 9-year-old nephew Logan Thompson to walk with the large crowd.

“I came out because I walk every day and I’m on vacation,” Debra said. “My

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dad passed away from heart disease, so this (event) is very important.”

The American Heart Association will also host the 2012 Genesee County Heart Walk on the University of Michigan-Flint’s campus on May 19. To resiger, visit

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