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Seniors Beat the Heat Exercising in Bellevue

Bellevue, Wash. – Overlake Medical Center and Bellevue Family YMCA are offering a safe and fun environment where seniors—or anyone—can exercise away from the summer heat through the Walk for Life program.

The Walk for Life program is a free, on-going program held at the Bellevue Square Mall on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 8 – 9:30 a.m., before the stores open and the crowds arrive. Walkers who are looking for a program that is safe, effective and low-impact, can attend whatever times fit their schedules.

Exercise is an essential part of improving strength and balance for seniors. During the hot summer months walking outside can be uncomfortable and prevent many from consistently getting the exercise they need. Overlake Medical Center solves this problem with their innovative and convenient walking program.

The mall provides a flat, well-lit, even surface with controlled temperatures—all important factors in creating an inviting exercise environment for seniors. There are both half-mile and one-mile routes, but all walkers move at their own pace and walk the distance that works best for them.

Walking is also a great way to improve overall health that requires no special equipment. Regular walking can lead to weight loss, decreased stress, decreased blood pressure, and overall cardiovascular health. The low impact activity can increase a person’s balance and coordination reducing the risk of falls.

According to the American Heart Association, a regular exercise program such as walking can:

  • Increase energy and lift mood.
  • Increase mental acuity.
  • Promote relaxation and sleep.
  • Burn calories.
  • Improve muscle tone.
  • Keep joints flexible.
  • Decrease risk of osteoporosis, diabetes, stroke and heart attack.

A Walk for Life coordinator is available daily to help participants get the most benefit from the walking program. Free blood pressure screenings are also available.

In addition to the health benefits participants get through regular exercise, there are also social benefits from the friendships formed while walking through the mall. Walkers often grab coffee together after completing their route to socialize.

Walkers can check in at the Walk for Life registration table inside the doors at the North Face entrance at Bellevue Square Mall, no pre-registration required. Parking is available in the ground level parking garage just south of Nordstrom, entering through the first mall entrance off NE 8th Street.

For more information on the Walk for Life Program, call (425) 688-5259.