Collier and Lee Counties Edition
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Walking Moais Build Community as Well as Health

This Blue Zones Project Organizes Group Walks with the Added Benefit of Exposure to Nature

While the health benefits of regular brisk walking—maintaining a healthy weight, preventing or managing conditions such as heart disease and Type 2 diabetes, strengthening bones and muscles and improving mood, as well as balance and coordination—are well recognized. Less light has been shed on the social benefits of walking in a group with friends, neighbors or work colleagues.

According to the Mayo Clinic, individuals that walk together in a group receive added benefits such as accountability, motivation, safety, socialization and support, which help them to stick to health and fitness goals. Local residents will be able to realize these benefits thanks to the Blue Zones Project, Walking Moai, which is launching organized group walks with the added benefit of exposure to nature.

Moai (pronounced mow-eye) is a concept from Okinawa, Japan, which roughly means meeting for a common purpose. Walking moais consisting of five to eight people that meet weekly for at least 10 weeks can help Southwest Floridians to create strong, healthy, committed social networks, in addition to giving people a reason to explore and discover their community parks on foot.

Upcoming Naples events include a Walking Moai at Immokalee Community Park from 9 to 10:30 a.m., January 6; a Walking Moai at North Collier Regional Park from 6 to 7:30 p.m., January 11; and a Walking Moai at Sugden Park from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., January 18.

For more information on the launch of Moai Walking, visit SouthwestFlorida.BlueZonesProject.com.

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