For ten weeks last fall, a group of more than thirty Westside residents participated in Grady Health System’s inaugural “Walk the Line” wellness program. Part of the Westside Trail Community Health Grant Program sponsored by the Atlanta BeltLine Partnership and funded by Kaiser Permanente of Georgia, Grady’s new program is designed to connect people with a variety of healthy activities and information while increasing participants’ exposure to the newly-opened Westside Trail. In addition to weekly trail walks, participants heard from Grady experts on a range of health-related topics and were treated to a healthy meal – all free of charge.
Walk the Line participants and health coaches celebrate a successful first session.
Hosted by Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church, “Walk the Line” kicked off in late September with 34 participants and eight volunteer health coaches. Week one focused on getting to know participants and health coaches, completing health screenings, and setting individual health goals to work toward during the program. Thanks to beautiful fall weather, participants and health coaches began each class with a 45-minute walk on the Westside Trail—by far everyone’s favorite part of the program!
At left above, Walk the Line participant Dessie Hardwick enjoys a brisk walk on the Atlanta BeltLine’s Westside Trail. At right, participants learn about the benefits of exercise and practice with new resistance bands.
After each week’s walk, participants dished up a healthy meal—Zoe’s Kitchen, Souper Jenny and Good Measure Meals received great reviews—and settled in to hear from Grady experts about that week’s health topic. Participants learned about nutrition, heart health, diabetes, cancer and more. In addition to Grady experts, participants learned about stress management from the Wholistic Stress Control Institute and received a special tour of the neighboring urban farm, Truly Living Well (Note: Wholistic Stress Control Institute and Truly Living Well are also Westside Trail Health Grant recipients). With consistent, personalized health coaching and a few fun and healthy giveaways throughout the program, participants were set up to succeed!
At left above, participants receive a tour of Truly Living Well’s Collegetown Farm. At right, participants learn about cancer prevention from Grady Nurse Navigator Antonio Washington.
At the end of ten weeks, the reviews were overwhelmingly positive and participants had walked off over 40 pounds! Participants also reported increases in the frequency and duration of regular physical activity and the amount of time they spend on the Westside Trail – all of which translates to a healthier lifestyle!
“Physical activity is critical to good health,” said Katie Mooney, Grady Community Benefit Manager and Program Coordinator. “We hope Westside residents take advantage of this great new resource in their neighborhood, and we’re excited to partner with other community organizations to help make that happen. Through ‘Walk the Line,’ it is our privilege to encourage residents to take the next step on their journey to wellness or start one while they’ve got a built-in support group and a health coach!”
Grady’s next “Walk the Line” session will begin in February. Learn more or sign up by visiting www.tinyurl.com/WTLspring2018.