We’ve heard of dog walkers, but people walkers? Learn about an organization that brings health and community together one walk at a time.
Getting in shape and bringing the community together. That’s the idea behind People Walkers of Cincinnati.
“People Walkers of Cincinnati is a local service that provides companion walking for those who want to get active, but don’t want the intensity or cost of a personal training session or gym membership,” says Katherine Lent, Founder of People Walkers of Cincinnati. “People recovering from surgery or with other health concerns may not want to be alone while walking, nor live where there is a safe walking area.”
Lent is the Eastside Group Leader and her group walks in two Clermont County Parks, Pattison Park and Sycamore Park in Batavia. “Both are beautiful parks and perfect for short walks,” she says. “I encourage others to lead groups in their neighborhoods.” The organization has been around since this past winter where they would do one walk each month, but now it has been increased to a walk each week. “If the weather is too bad, we will walk at a mall or another indoor place,” Lent says.
There are so many health benefits for walking. “It benefits those recovering from surgery, have chronic pain, illness, overweight or quitting smoking. Companion walking provides the opportunity for gentle exercise in a safer environment, flat terrain and offers companionship to those who don’t have someone to walk with them,” she says. “Sometimes family and friends don’t relate to those of us with those issues and it makes a big difference to be with others who understand what you are going through. Companion walking makes exercise accessible through conversation, companionship, community, accountability, safety, affordability and consistency.”
There are different walks offered through People Walkers of Cincinnati. “We offer private one-mile walks, which average 20 minutes, or 15 for brisk walks and thirty for more leisurely walks. The current rate is five dollars per half hour, which is one or two miles. In some cases, we can come to you,” Lent says. “Weekly group walks are free to join! We have a Facebook community group, Facebook page and an Instagram. People can host free group walks, provide private walks or arrange for others to help them do the walks. I’d like to build a network of walkers who can go to people who can’t drive.”
The mission of People Walkers of Cincinnati is “to serve by providing accessibility, accountability, safety, affordability, consistency and motivation to walk through companion walking,” she says.
The organization is unique because they make connection with people a priority. “It is unique because it is ‘peer-to-peer,’ rather than a company like a gym,” Lent says. “Connecting with a walking partner connects us to each other, to nature and to the community.”
This is important for the community of Cincinnati. “It is a service provided by people in the community for other people in the community. It also exposes people to an array of beautiful parks in their communities,” she says.