Wicks, 90, takes walking seriously. She started taking part in Walking for Wellness almost 17 years ago and tries to walk every day.
Most days—rain or shine—you’ll find Jacksonville resident Lois Wicks on her feet.
Wicks, 90, takes walking seriously. She sports bright pink tennis shoes, and a Fitbit around her wrist keeps track of her steps each day.
“It gives you a routine,” she said. “It gets you out of the house.”
During the winter months, she takes part in the Walking for Wellness program at the Jacksonville High School Bowl. Walking for Wellness, now in its 20th year, is sponsored by Passavant Area Hospital and the Jacksonville school district. It provides an indoor space for community members to walk and get some light exercise, no matter the weather. Walkers are also welcome at the First Christian Church in Jacksonville during the afternoons.
On average, 75 people walk at the JHS Bowl each day, said Breann Linstromberg Copper, who works in community relations at Passavant. As part of their mission to improve community health, the hospital offers blood pressure checks to walkers on selected dates.
“Daily exercise is important for everyone to maintain strength, mobility and good health but is especially important for our older population,” Copper said, noting that “Bowl walkers” tend to fall in the 55-plus age range. “Many of our Walking for Wellness participants walk with a small group or with a spouse or friend, so the program also encourages social interaction, which is great for a person’s mind and well-being.”
Wicks started taking part in Walking for Wellness almost 17 years ago. She tries to walk every day, and said that she enjoys the opportunity to spend some time alone with her thoughts.
She credits her walking routine—and her determination to stay active—with her continued good health into her ninth decade.
“If you just sit down, you deteriorate,” she said.