Coupeville counts steps for 'Health of It'

Leigh and LaVerne Power of Coupeville stroll on South Main Street recently. The couple came out for the walk to support the program and to get out of the house. -
Leigh and LaVerne Power of Coupeville stroll on South Main Street recently. The couple came out for the walk to support the program and to get out of the house.
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Keeping people in Coupeville off their feet is harder than ever these days. Since Oct. 3, folks in the super-involved Central Whidbey town have taken to the streets "For the Health of It."

"For the Health of It" is sponsored by Coupeville School District and the Town of Coupeville to promote wellness and encourage physical activity.

"Walks Across Coupeville" the first Thursday of each month are an important part of the program.

"First Thursdays are the face of the program," said Cheryl Torres, an educator with Coupeville Community Education. "We see each other, stay stimulated and encouraged and keep the mission of wellness seen. We don't often have the opportunity on a monthly basis to hook up with the community. First Thursdays, we can seen who is out making a difference in their health and the community can see the program and the people who are part of it."

Torres said it's easy to get going on this health kick, er, stride.

"You start where your home or business is. The route takes you from Front Street to Terry Road and back. Round trip, that's two miles," she said. "It's truly a walk across Coupeville since you go from one end of town to the other. There are sidewalks the entire way so it's safe."

People may register for the walk at Coupeville Town Hall where from noon to 1 p.m. Central Whidbey Fire and Rescue will take blood pressures before people start walking.

But walkers don't have to walk to get your blood pressure taken. It just happens to be a good idea for some. Marilyn Trout of Coupeville saw a sign in the pharmacy Nov. 7 and came over for a check.

"I'm fighting high blood pressure," Trout said. "Mine's too high today to walk. But I'm hoping new medication will take care of it so I can get out and walk."

Leigh and LaVerne Power of Coupeville came for the walk.

"It sounds like a good program to support," LaVerne Power said.

"And we get out of the house," Leigh Power added.

Pat Kohlmann was flushed when she finished her walk across Coupeville. "Coming back wasn't so bad," she said. "Going out it was uphill against the wind."

Kohlmann said she walks a good bit.

"I haven't reached 10,000 steps every day, but some days I've been up to 12,000," she said. "I love it. Wearing a pedometer is a good incentive for me. I tend to walk a little more each time."

Torres agrees that pedometers are a great incentive. She said pedometers are an "incredible tool to challenge yourself" to add steps to a daily routine. The 10,000 steps a day recommended by the Surgeon General is the figure on which "For the Health of It" is built, so it helps to have one of the measuring devices to keep track.

"Every step adds to your life and anyone of any size, age, shape or medical condition can enhance their life through movement," she said. "We have people who are highly fit, obese people, grade school kids, people with diabetes and people who are recovering from cancer out walking."

People from all walks of life will be taking their next steps for their health Thursday at the next Walk Across Coupeville.

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