Rediscover the MCMH Wellness Walkway

Montgomery County Memorial Hospital is hoping area residents looking for light exercise will rediscover one of its features.
Jamie Werges is the community relations director for MCMH. Werges said the walkway was implemented at the hospital in 2015, and the walkway saw a lot of use, until the COVID-19 pandemic arrived in the county.
“COVID dramatically affected the use of the walkway in 2020. Outside visitors were not allowed to use the Wellness Walkway throughout 2020, and not until the middle of 2021,” Werges said. “Once community members were allowed back, we certainly saw a decrease in numbers, as many were unaware that they could come back to walk. We saw numbers start to rise again in 2022, and now we see lots of community members walking our halls again.”
Werges outlined the many benefits there are for those who wish to take up low impact walking:
• It reduces the risk of coronary heart disease.
• Walking helps improve blood pressure and blood sugar levels.
• Walking can help people maintain their body weight and lower the risk of obesity.
• Walking helps enhance mental well-being.
• Walking can help reduce the risk of osteoporosis.
• Walking reduces the risk of breast and colon cancer.
• Finally, walking will help reduce the risk of non-insulin dependent type 2 diabetes.
Werges said there are two parts to the Wellness Walkway: an upper loop, and a lower loop.
“The Upper Level Loop is .35 miles. On this path, you will remain on one level of the hospital. Complete three loops and you have walked just over a mile. The Upper and Lower Level Loop together is a .45 mile round-trip walk that utilizes the two stairwells at MCMH to give your legs an extra workout,” advised Werges. “Complete this loop twice and you have walked just under a mile! Follow the MCMH Wellness Walkway Apples positioned on the walls along the walking path. Follow the Apples and they will loop you back to your starting point.”
Werges said the walkway provides an exercise space where walkers will know exactly what they are getting.
“The Wellness Walkway is free to those who would like to use it. The halls are clean, free of debris, and provide a stable surface without having to worry about holes in the ground, cracks in cement, sand, etc. It’s a great, safe environment for low impact exercise,” commented Werges. “Additionally, it’s not just for folks who want to exercise. If someone is sitting with a loved one at the hospital, they can use the walkway if they need to get up and move around.”
Also, while this year’s weather pattern has been more favorable in January and especially into February, Werges said the walkway will provide users with stability.
“One of the huge benefits of the walkway is that it is all weather friendly. One never has to worry about rain, snow or scorching hot or frigid cold temps in our MCMH halls. It is a very pleasant environment,” Werges explained.
Another benefit, Werges said, is that there’s no special membership required to use the walkway.
“There are no qualifications or sign up required. Just come and take a walk! When you come to MCMH to walk, look for an apple on the wall, and it will direct you around the route. Our staff can also help answer any questions you may have,” Werges said.
Another benefit to the walkway is that it allows everyone who uses it the option for social interaction.
“Not only does the walkway provide a safe place to walk, but it also allows for social interaction. We have lots of friendly staff around the building that really enjoying seeing the faces of community members walking our halls, and we enjoy the conversations and getting to know our walkers. If you’re looking for a safe environment to walk, and also enjoy seeing people, the Wellness Walkway is a great, no cost option for walking,” Werges commented.


The Red Oak Express

2012 Commerce Drive
P.O. Box 377
Red Oak, IA 51566
Phone: 712-623-2566 Fax: 712-623-2568

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