Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — Running approximately 2,400 miles long from Chicago to Los Angeles, Route 66 passes through the heart of the United States. It was one of our country's first transcontinental highways. Though it is no longer a main route across the country, Route 66 has retained its mystique and is now designated Historic Route 66. The romance of Route 66 continues to captivate people from all over. It is also the inspiration for the Route 66 Walking Challenge, locally.
"Route 66 Walking Challenge" is sponsored by Blue Cross Blue Shield and offered through The Dale Association with the hope that a group of people will walk the equivalent of 2,400 miles. Teams of two people each will accumulate walking miles over six weeks towards the 2,400 goal. Pedometers will be given out to keep track of the miles.
Teams can sign up together or individuals can sign up and be partnered with another individual. Scheduled group walks will help maximize weekly steps but individuals and teams can walk on their own time. Teams will compete against other teams for total distance walked. Recognition prizes will be given out at a celebration at the end of six weeks.
The walking challenge is free, fun, and healthy. A walking kick-off meeting will be held at 2 p.m. Tuesday at The Dale Association, 33 Ontario St. The walking challenge starts July 14 and ends Aug. 24. A celebration party is set for Sept. 3. Advance registration is required; please call 433-1886 or stop by the Dale Association to register.
Walking may be the single best — and easiest — exercise you can do to improve your health. Not only will going for a daily walk help you feel better now, it will help you maintain your independence and ability to do daily tasks as you age, according to health professionals.
Research also has shown that walking regularly can help protect the aging brain against memory loss and dementia, help cut the risk of heart disease, and reduce the chance of developing type 2 diabetes in high-risk adults by a whopping 60 percent.