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JohnJacob Posted by John Jacob, a health communications writer and editor at the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.

Many of us become less active as we get older. So it’s important to find ways to get out there and keep moving. Walking clubs are a fun, easy and free way to do just that. The Massachusetts Department of Public Health’s Keep Moving Program organizes regional walks to support many walking clubs in the Commonwealth. This program gives people over 50 an opportunity to be active and social by working behind the scenes to put together walking clubs all over the state.

Keep Walking Club 
A recent walk at Castle Island in honor of Jan Marble, late director of the DPH Keep Moving Program

The Keep Moving program offers trainings on the nuts and bolts of starting a walking club. Trainees learn how to lead, motivate and recruit members. Our Keep Moving leaders return to their own communities with the knowledge, enthusiasm and skills needed to lead fellow seniors in forming a walking club of their own. To date, our trainees have formed over 161 clubs across the state, each with their own unique identities. 

Some clubs are newly formed and just getting off the ground while others, such as the Morning Glory Walkers of East Longmeadow, have been hoofing around together for over 20 years! Click here for a list of Massachusetts Keep Moving walking clubs.  

Participating in a club rewards the body and soul, but organized walks can also be used to raise awareness, promote a cause or honor someone special. This past June, that is exactly what happened when the Office of Healthy Aging and Disability (HADU) held a regional walk at Castle Island in memory of our late director of the Keep Moving Program, Jan Marble.

Over 400 active, energetic and engaged seniors from all over the state joined HADU and Jan’s family and friends in the celebration and memory of Jan’s legacy. We want to thank the many people, groups and organizations that joined us that day to remember and honor Jan.  Without the help of all those who attended, this great gathering of engaged seniors would not have been possible.

Learn more about the Keep Moving Program. If you’re interested in joining or starting a walking club in your community, contact us for more information.

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health communication writer and editor

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