April Health Hero: The Walkers

Posted by: | April 1, 2011

Verni at Lake Louise

You can see them all over campus in their business clothes and a conspicuous pair of running shoes on their feet.  They join our Walking Program, or they walk on their own, dragging their colleagues out at lunchtime. If they are like Verni Brown, they walk in events like the MovingMinds walk/run.  All the walkers on this campus inspire us to get moving!

Verni Brown works in the Math Department at UBC.  On March 3, you may have seen her walking on Main Mall with over 190 other staff and faculty at the MovingMinds event coordinated by UBC Bodyworks and the School of Human Kinetics.   Verni walked six MovingMinds  laps because she wanted to support the initiative, so close to her workplace.  When we spoke with Verni, we found that Verni walks a whole lot more than just at MovingMinds.

Over 18 years ago, Verni joined an international walking club called Volkssport.  Since then, she has walked more than 23,000 kilometres as part of the program.  Walking is her main source of physical activity (and a great choice for your health!).  The Volkssport organization has helped keep her motivated.  Every non-competitive Volkswalk (5 or 10 km, or longer) includes a map and route instructions.  Walks are planned locally every weekend, rain or shine.  You can be track your distance in a record book, and every time you finish a book, you receive a pin, patch and certificate.

Verni has gone out of her way to walk during her vacations. Last year, she planned a trip to Yellowstone, in part because there were some Volkshikes there. She will also be helping encourage other walkers this May, as she coordinates the national Volkssport convention in Whistler.

A lot of our work in Health Promotion Programs focuses on inspiring faculty and staff to be involved in physical activity on campus.  It means so much to us that folks like Verni go out of their way to be involved in activities off campus, and help motivate all of us to take a step closer to health, on or off campus.

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