Step by step: Walk Across Maryland hopes to convert exercise-phobes

September 14, 2009|By TIFFANY ARNOLD

HANCOCK - When it comes to exercise, there are people who embrace it, and then others who act like bad boyfriends with commitment issues.

But two local doctors are hoping to convert exercise-phobes by hosting a walk across the state of Maryland on Saturday. They hope it will be the start of something beautiful.

"Hopefully it will jump-start people's fall exercise habits," said Dr. Matthew Hahn, a Hancock doctor, organizer and brainchild of Walk Across Maryland.

When it comes down to walking across the entire state, Hahn and co-organizer Dr. Marilyn Nelson mean what they say. The trek is a border-to-border hike across the slender 1.8-mile stretch of Maryland in Hancock.


Walk Across Maryland participants will meet up on Pennsylvania Avenue, at the Hancock Assembly of God church parking lot. Starting at 9 a.m., walkers will journey from the Pennsylvania line to the C&O Canal in Hancock, just in time for the Canal-Apple Days festivities.

Last year, 75 people participated in the Walk, Hahn said.

The doctors, who run Hahn & Nelson Family Medicine in Hancock, hope the event will encourage people to lead healthier lives by making reasonable and sustainable changes to their daily lives.

Walk Across Maryland also kicks off the 2009 Health Olympics, a free program that encourages Tri-State residents to lose weight by exercising at least 30 minutes a day, cutting 200 calories from their daily diets and committing to lose no more than 10 pounds.

The Health Olympics start Sept. 19, though sign-ups will continue through Oct. 9. Nelson said the Health Olympics wraps up Nov. 30, and participants would be eligible for a drawing and prizes in December.

Participants are weighed in at registration and weighed out at the end of the program.

"I'm looking forward to motivating myself," said Nelson. "Most of us could stand to lose five to 10 pounds. I'm no exception."

If you go ...

WHAT: 2009 Walk Across Maryland; kick off to the 2009 Maryland Olympics

WHEN: 9 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 19

WHERE: Maryland-Pennsylvania border in Hancock. Meet at the parking lot of the Hancock Assembly of God church parking lot, off Pennsylvania Avenue. The walk will proceed down Pennsylvania Avenue to the C&O Canal

COST: Free; no pre-registration required. Free T-shirts will be provided to walk participants, courtesy of Washington County Hospital, as supplies last

MORE: For more information, call Hahn & Nelson Family Medicine at 301-678-7007

Health Olympics

WHAT: Participants choose a weight-loss goal of as much as 10 pounds, then are given a schedule encouraging them to exercise at least 30 minutes a day and cut 200 calories from their regular daily eating. Participants weigh in at registration, and complete the program by weighing out at the end. Progress is tracked with a daily Health Olympics calendar.

Participants are eligible for prizes and a drawing at the end of the program.

WHEN: The Health Olympics starts Saturday, Sept. 19, and ends Monday, Nov. 30. The drawing will be held in December.

COST: There is no cost to participate. The program is open to any Tri-State resident.

REGISTER: Sign up Sept. 19 through Oct. 9, at the following locations:

· Hahn & Nelson Family Medicine , 131 N. Pennsylvania Avenue, Hancock

· Rankin Physical Therapy & Fitness Center, 23 Fitness Lane, Berkeley Springs, W.Va.

· Morgan County Health Department, 187 S. Green St., Suite 2, Berkeley Springs, W.Va.

· War Memorial Hospital, 109 War Memorial Dr., Berkeley Springs, W.Va.

CONTACT: For more information, call Hahn & Nelson Family Medicine, 301-678-7007

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