Highs and lows

City's interval walking class gets the arms and hearts pumping

Their pain is decreasing. Their sleep is improving.

The second week of the Parks and Recreation's Interval Walking class wasn't as tough on the five participants. Kay Sager gives instructions as she walks the class around the 3/4-mile walking trail at Mackle Park three days a week. During the hour-long session, they discuss nutrition and stress management.

Sager is a certified fitness and aquatics specialist. The walking program is designed to burn calories, increase cardiovascular fitness and promote physical and mental well-being.

"I didn't expect it." said Kris Hodgdon. "Thought it was going to be easy."

The group walks the trail about four times each night at different intensity levels. After each walk, the participants stretch.

Melanie Burns said that after the second day of class, she went home and stood for 45 minutes cooking dinner. After sitting to eat dinner, she tried to get up, but couldn't.

Sager has also given the group assignments. The participants took a recipe and made it healthier. They also were instructed to park farther away in parking lots.

"I feel tired, but I feel good. I think it's a worthwhile effort," said Carol Erb.

City parks and recreation program specialist Kay Sager, right, keeps Kris Hodgdon, left, and Carol Erb pumped while walking the .75-mile trail at Mackle Park. Sager’s Interval Walking class is an hour-long session held three times a week.

Photo by Kristen Poppenhouse, Eagle staff

City parks and recreation program specialist Kay Sager, right, keeps Kris Hodgdon, left, and Carol Erb pumped while walking the .75-mile trail at Mackle Park. Sager’s Interval Walking class is an hour-long session held three times a week.

Hodgdon knew fellow walker Johnny Richard before the class. The others have gotten to know each other as they exercise.

"Socially, it's good because we have a lot of time to talk and we get to know each other," Hodgdon said.

Erb said she doesn't know Burns that well because she walks so much faster. Sager said that Richard and Erb usually walk behind Hodgdon and Burns and she tries to stay in the middle of the group. On Friday, Susan Patton was not there.

Sager plans on having the class on an ongoing basis, with a week off between each six-week session.

"The people I walk with are fun," Richard said. "Talk while we walk around and it's good exercise."

The group has gotten snack ideas from Sager and shared healthy recipes with each other. They all agreed that they're not in as much pain as the first week and are sleeping better.

	Johnny Richard, left, and Carol Erb followed Sager's instructions on the sixth day of the Parks and Recreation Department's Interval Walking class at Mackle Park.

Photo by Kristen Poppenhouse, Eagle staff

Johnny Richard, left, and Carol Erb followed Sager's instructions on the sixth day of the Parks and Recreation Department's Interval Walking class at Mackle Park.

And they've got four more weeks of class.

"We all come," Hodgdon said. "We motivate each other."

Each walker joined the class for different reasons, but mainly to burn fat and get in better shape. Sager advised them to get better walking shoes for the class. Erb is taking her new shoes on her trip to Italy. One of the reasons she signed up to get in better shape.

"(Sager) is great, very enthusiastic," Erb said. "Everyone goes at their own pace."

Each shared what they've learned about their walking partners. They've learned Hodgdon is community-oriented, Burns has great recipe ideas and Richard is on his feet all day before coming to class.

"I tried to do it by myself and I couldn't keep motivated," Burns said.

Sager said after only two weeks, everyone is pumped up and ready to go. She added that motivation is key.

"She kills us out there. It's a workout," Hodgdon said. "Every night we pray for rain."

•••

Interval Walking class

Where: Mackle Park, 1361 Andalusia Terrace

When: 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday

For more: 642-0575

© 2006 marconews.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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