Making friends while logging miles

Margaret Hurt
Special to The Black Mountain News

In the evenings, Julie King is usually ready to relax and unwind with some couch and TV time. But recently, she’s been checking her pedometer. If she has not yet reached her step count goal for the day, she walks a few laps around her neighborhood.

King is part of a new walking club, a program of the Lakeview Center for Active Aging. Along with others, she is logging walking miles weekly to help the club reach a collective goal of 3,500 miles.

“It keeps me motivated to know I am part of a group working towards a common goal,” she said. “Others are counting on me to participate and do my part.”

King walks on Friday mornings after taking part in the older adult fitness class at the Lakeview Center. She meets up with the walking club at 9 a.m. Each Friday, the club visits a different location around the area to walk for 30-60 minutes as a group.

King and around 20 others are attempting to walk the distance from New York City to London - 3,459 miles. Participants were given a walking log and pedometer to track their individual progress. Walkers set a personal goal at the start and then each week log miles to turn in toward the group goal. Scenic spots like Lake Tomahawk, Givens Highland Farms Retirement Community, Flat Creek and Garden Greenway, Owen Park, Riverwalk Trail and Montreat are where you will find the week through the middle of June.

Brittany Williams, Lakeview Center for Active Aging program director, is partnering with an already established walking club event at Givens Highland Farms. The partnership has worked well for both groups, with members meeting new folks, seeing different walking locations and increasing the number of people who participate.

Lynn Swann has learned of new walking locations that are safe, scenic and have nice smooth paths.

“It’s more fun to walk with a group, and I enjoy connecting with the members each week,” she said. “Now I am more comfortable (in) going back to these places to walk on my own, since they are familiar,” she said.

The walking club’s mission is to encourage exercise by combining it with fellowship, while giving walkers additional resources, said Williams. She noted that some walkers are meeting at other times during the week to log miles together.

It’s not too late to sign up. You can walk with the group, on your own or with a partner. Using a conversion for walking steps, you can log miles if you are in a wheelchair.

For more about the walking club and other senior programming, contact Williams at 669-2035 or visit

“I love all the things being offered for older adults,” King said. “There are many great options to choose from.”