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HOOFit with the animals: First steps to a healthier you

OhioHealth and the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium have come together to create the HOOFit Walking Program. The program is the focal point of a new five-year partnership between the two organizations.

walking for charity


Recently, the inaugural HOOFit walk took place at the zoo as walkers stepped on the road to a new, healthier lifestyle. The event was highlighted by a press conference with Dave Blom, president and CEO, OhioHealth; Laura McCoy, vice president of Marketing Communications, OhioHealth; Jack Hanna, conservationist and director, Columbus Zoo; and Dale Schmidt, CEO, Columbus Zoo.

Additionally, three OhioHealth primary care physicians teamed up with zoo animal educators to lead the walkers on the first HOOFit walk. The physicians included:

  • Dr. Laurie Hommema, Riverside Family Practice Center
  • Dr. Randy Hinkle, OhioHealth Primary Care at Westerville
  • Dr. Lakshmi Seshadri, OhioHealth Primary Care at Dublin

Upcoming walks

This wasn’t a one-time event — there will be various walks taking place in the upcoming months. The next HOOFit walk is scheduled for June 21 from 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. with a sports medicine physician. Future walks will take place on July 19, Aug. 16 and Sept. 27.

Visit the OhioHealth website, and then HOOFit over to their Facebook page to RSVP. Each participant will receive a free bracelet pedometer upon arrival.

Lifestyle changes, one step at a time

None of us are going to become our ideal weight or be perfectly physically fit overnight, but it’s all about taking the first step. Obesity is at epidemic proportions in our country — for both adults and children. The first step towards physical fitness is to get moving. Try to exercise at least four days a week, even if you just walk around the block with your family or play with your kids in the backyard.

Fit physical activity into your day

Many people say they don’t have time for exercise. However, you can find a number of ways to incorporate physical activity into your daily routine. Instead of taking the elevator at work, take the stairs. Instead of parking in the nearest spot at the grocery store, park at the far end of the lot. Instead of picking up drive-thru food on your lunch hour or ordering in at your desk, pack your lunch, take a walk and eat it outdoors. Also, make it a rule in your household to never drive to places that are within walking or biking distance. With a little effort and forethought, you can fit physical activity into your life and be on the road to fitness.

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