NEWBERRY — Despite the threat of showers on New Year’s Day, a small contingent of Newberrians arrived at Memorial Park to participate in Newberry’s First Day Walk.
As The Newberry Observer reported in the Dec. 29 edition, each mayor in Newberry County pledged to promote exercise and healthy living in 2022 by going for a ‘First Day Walk.’ In Prosperity, Mayor Derek Underwood walked the track at Town Center and the track at Wightman United Methodist Church. In Little Mountain, Mayor Jana Jayroe planned to walk Reunion Park and her town’s sidewalks. In Silverstreet, Lisha Senn walked the Silverstreet walking track. In Whitmire, Mayor Billy Hollingsworth walked at the track at Whitmire Memorial Library and at the Whitmire Cemetery. Over in Peak, Mayor Moses Rembert walked part of the Palmetto Trail, as did Mayor Darryl Hentz of Pomaria.
Hentz and Rembert are conveniently located near the Peak to Prosperity Passage of the Palmetto Trail, which is one of the most popular segments in the the state, according to the Palmetto Trail staff.
In Newberry, Senn used the event to promote all of the fitness routes that the city has planned out in and around downtown. The routes are available online or in a Main Street Motion pamphlet available at city offices. The pamphlet maps walking distances and times downtown, along with an estimate of calories you will burn along the way. Also listed are other trails in the county and some tips for being safe on the trails.
Walkers in Newberry started in Memorial Park, in front of the Newberry Opera House, east on Main Street to Calhoun Street and returning via Martin and Harrington Streets to McKibben Street back to the park.
Before the walk, Dr. Michael Bernardo spoke on efforts to model a Blue Zone in Newberry.
“There are five places in the world where people live extremely long, healthy lives. A high number of those people live to 100 and they’re called Blue Zones.” he said.
There had been a bit of a movement in Newberry to move to a Blue Zone approach, but COVID-19 put a bit of a damper on some of those efforts, according to Bernardo.
Bernardo practices in geriatrics and says he is asked often about prevention of Alzheimer’s and dementia, he says exercise is key.
“People are kind of shocked by that, because they are thinking about physical health. But actually for your mental health, health of your brain, it is anything that increases blood flow to an organ is going to improve that organ. So, exercise is really the only thing right now, there is no medicine,” he said. “Make sure you walk every day.”
Andy Husk is the publisher of The Newberry Observer, reach him at 803-768-3117.