Most people cannot go wrong when walking for exercise. It’s probably one of the most basic, low-impact exercises they can do. Benefits include a decreased risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes, help with controlling weight and improves mental health and mood.
There are many fitness and running clubs available, but for those who just want to walk, there is the East Texas Trekkers. Since 1997, the group has been a chapter of the American Volkssports Association — an organization that promotes noncompetitive walking.
The East Texas Trekkers, with about 40 active members, will celebrate its 15th anniversary with a walk on Oct. 20 during the annual Texas Rose Festival.
Bonnie Avonrude, 55, has been with the group for three years. She began walking to drop weight after she stopped running in her mid-40s.
“I had gained about 30 pounds,” she said. “I needed a way to lose some weight, get back into meeting people. I made two of my best buddies in age group and lost 20 of the 30 pounds.”
Besides the health benefits, Trekkers also share camaraderie.
“Our main goal is to walk for fun and fitness and friendship,” Ms. Avonrude said.
Trekkers’ walking sites vary, based on preference. They go on trails, to wildlife parks and flat areas such as Faulkner Park monthly.
Mrs. Avonrude enjoys traveling and plans her trips around certain walking trails and parks.
A nurse for Mother Frances Hospital, Ms. Avonrude understands the importance of walking as it is a starting point for overall wellness.
“The problem is that people go and buy equipment and go on a diet but they frequently fail. (Walking) is something that everyone can do.”
A nonprofit organization, Trekkers collects canned goods for PATH during their events. For more information about East Texas Trekkers events, visit www.walktx.org/EastTexasTrekkers.
Sept 29: 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. at Lufkin Kit McConnico Park
Oct 20: 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. at the Texas Rose Festival