Get OUT and walk for a cause

Walking is easy, cheap, clean and requires no investment except in a decent pair of sneakers. There are tremendous health benefits to getting up off the couch and out into the bright sunlight and moving the body. It's also a great way to get your head clear of the day's pressures, or to enjoy a friend's company on your walk.

We encourage our readers to put your sneakers to the sidewalks, because these are just a few of the many health benefits you'll get from simply walking:

- Reduced risk of heart disease.

- Alleviation of depression.

- Increased muscular strength.

- Alleviation of lower back pain.

- Improved coronary circulation.

- Reduced risk of infection.

- Reduced risk of hypertension.

- Increase in amount of "good" cholesterol.

- Assisting in maintaining weight loss.

- Curb decreases in bone density.

Research shows adults who are physically active in their 50s and early 60s are about 35 percent less likely to die in the next eight years than those who are sedentary. For those who have a high heart risk because of diabetes, high blood pressure or smoking, the reduction is 45 percent.

AIDS Walks - put your feet where your heart is

This fall there are eight different AIDS Walks scattered throughout the state that provide excellent opportunities to tone up those calf muscles for a cause.

AIDS Walk Michigan and Steppin' Out sponsor the walks. The annual AIDS Walks help raise awareness about HIV and AIDS and simultaneously raises funds for local AIDS services. Here's the schedule of all the AIDS Walks:

Sunday, Sept. 21

AIDS Walk Detroit - a Steppin' Out event. Starts at 9:30 a.m. at the Royal Oak Farmers' Market. Call 248-399-WALK (9255), or check out their site at

AIDS Walk Michigan events:

AIDS Walk Ann Arbor, 12:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m., starts at the Detroit Edison Building Parking Lot.

Saturday, Sept. 27

Detroit, from 8:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the Belle Isle Nature Zoo

Grand Rapids, from 9 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the First United Methodist Church Parking Lot (207 E Fulton). 616-774-2177

Bay City/Midland/Saginaw, from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Wenonah Park - Friendship Shell

Flint, from 12 p.m. to 4p.m. at the University Pavilion Downtown

Sunday, Sept. 28

Lansing/East Lansing, from 10a.m. to 3 p.m. at Valley Court Park (East Lansing) 517-394-3560

Traverse City (Northern Michigan), from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the Grand Traverse County Civic Center (1213 W Circle Dr.).

For more information about the seven AIDS Walk Michigan events, or to sign up to walk and/or donate go their site at

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