By Sadef Ali Kully
“Walking for Wellness,” a weekly walk organized by state Sen. Leroy Comrie (D-Hollis), has grown from 12 participants to 50. The walk and exercise routine takes place across different parks every Saturday in southeast Queens.
City Councilman I. Daneek Miller (D-St. Albans) and Alicia Hyndman, the Democratic candidate for the state Assembly seat previously held by William Scarborough, have joined the walks with Comrie and residents.
Comrie said the goal of the walks is to put the community on track to healthier lifestyles through regular exercise.
Residents cheered Comrie on while they were engaged in interactive programming, which has in previous weeks included wellness presentations, yoga, Zumba and stretching warm-ups.
According to Comrie’s office, one in four adults gets no physical exercise and one in five are obese. Being overweight increases risks for heart disease and other problems—especially diabetes, which affects 10 percent of adults in southeast Queens.
On Sept. 5, retired New York Knicks player John Wallace joined the wellness walk at Roy Wilkins Park to motivate residents to continue a healthy regimen.
“Anytime you are able to do something—it always feels good to do good. I try to stay in shape to beat my two sons at basketball. That’s my goal.”
Miller , who co-sponsored the event, said the mission is to make southeast Queens the healthiest community in the city.
“I applaud Senator Comrie for advancing that mission and having John Wallace join us. True wellness requires commitment and John is a testament to a lifetime of this dedication and health,” Miller said.
Comrie said he has struggled with his weight and is committed to tackling the problem both for his own health, and for that of the community he represents.
“Participating in the senator’s walk motivates me to start back my personal plans to walk in the fall,” said Dorothy Harvey, a Queens Village resident. “Walking makes the body feel better and is better than a pill.”
The next three walks are scheduled for an 8:30 a.m. meet-up at the following locations:
Saturday, Sept. 19: Laurelton West Playground, 238th Street and 120th Avenue
Saturday, Sept. 26: Cunningham Park, Union Turnpike and 196th Place
Saturday, Oct. 3: St. Albans Park, Merrick Boulevard and Sayers Avenue
Reach Reporter Sadef Ali Kully by e-mail at skull