Walkers will meet at noon at the Benjamin Franklin statue in front of College Hall and then head west on Locust Walk to 40th Street. From there, they will head south to the pathways of the Woodlands Cemetery before returning to College Green. The 3.1-mile course takes about 45 minutes to an hour, depending on the pace.
“A 15-minute mile is a pretty good pace,” says Suzanne Smith, health promotion and project administrator in the Division of Human Resources (HR), “but no matter what your fitness level, walking is a great way to manage your weight and stay fit—not to mention lower your blood pressure, cholesterol, and risk of diabetes.”
Past 5Ks have drawn as many as 150 walkers, although Smith says they typically see about 100 participants. Volunteers from HR will help walkers keep a steady pace and make sure no one is left behind.
“This 5K is not a competitive race,” Smith says. “The walk is just a forum for the Penn community to get together in health and wellness and enjoy some time away from their desks.”
Walkers who are not members of the Walking Program can sign up and receive a free “I’m a Penn Walker” t-shirt and a pedometer. Current Walking Program members are encouraged to wear their “I’m a Penn Walker” attire.
Introduced in 2007, the Penn Walking Program provides materials and support to help its 1,850 active members meet their fitness goals. Its 12-week sessions have specific milestones to keep participants motivated, but faculty and staff can start at any time.
Members of the Penn Walking Program meet at the southwest corner of 34th and Walnut streets every Friday at 11 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.
“Come out and join us,” Smith says. “You’ll be surprised at how much something as simple as a lunch-time walk can improve your mood and impact your day in a positive way.”
For more information about the Penn Walking Program and the University’s many other health and wellness resources, visit the HR website.