For seniors looking for easy, regular exercise, Fridley resident Beverly Kronstedt has the answer. She leads senior hiking groups through local senior centers in Anoka County.
“It is exercise, it’s free and it is about the easiest kind of exercise,” she said. “We’re not a fast-walking group. We stop to smell the roses when they’re there.”
The group meets Mondays in Blaine, Tuesdays in Fridley, Wednesdays in Columbia Heights, Thursdays in Spring Lake Park and Fridays in Coon Rapids.
Kronstedt started a couple of hiking groups last year, and she had the idea of expanding it into a network around the county. The daily walking groups, geared toward seniors age 55 and up, kicked off in mid-May.
“The idea was to have a network,” she said. “For some people, walking once a week might be enough, but there are some people who might want to walk more than that.”
The hikes start at 9 a.m. and last about an hour each, with the group meeting rain or shine. The Coon Rapids and Blaine groups meet each week at their respective senior centers, while the other three meet at the park where the walk will be each week. Participants can call the local senior center for information on the hikes each week.
And it’s not all about the walking — Kronstedt has met new friends with similar interests through the groups, and now she goes on day trips with them, attends concerts and even travels.
Kronstedt most enjoys walking through the woods and discovering new parks. The trails are usually through woods or marshland.
“We’re out there to enjoy being together and enjoy nature and enjoy what’s out there,” she said.
Elizabeth Sias is at firstname.lastname@example.org