One hour a week is all thats asked, but once a person starts
walking for health, its pretty tough to enforce such an easy-to-reach
Since April, the phrase Calling All Walkers! has shouted
at viewers of the Today@ Emory web calendar every Monday. Clicking
on the link invites any and all to walk around the park in Lullwater.
that is true. A group walks in, around and through
Lullwaters various footpaths. The experience, however, is
far from, well, a walk in the park.
Not quite a power walk, but not a stroll either, the walkers keep
a relatively quick pace. Quick enough that they travel about three
miles in the hour of exercise allotted.
Walking isnt the only form of exercise, either. One recent
Monday, Lullwater walk organizer Yvonne Hodge and Gloria Weaver,
assistant director of Equal Opportunity Programs and Disability
Services, brought along exercise bands so they could work their
Weaver, a frequent Monday walker, has been exercising seriously
since October and notices a significant difference in her everyday
I have more energy, and I just feel better all around,
Hodge has led an Emory walking group in one form or another for
better part of three years. She discovered, though, whenever she
didnt participate, it would fall apart. Beginning in April
she started it once again, this time making sure walkers were committed,
even if she wasnt there. Monday walks are planned through
September, which is when the weather starts becoming less friendly
and the sun sets earlier.
On most days about 610 people walk, and the activity has
become so popular that she recently added a Wednesday walk around
Lullwater, also at 5:15 p.m.
We want to make Emorys employees the healthiest they
can be, said Hodge, manager of occupational health promotion
in the Emory Well House.
Its also really cheap. All you need is a pair of shoes.
Its a no-excuse reason to get active.
For those who havent experienced Lullwater Park, they are
missing an essential part of Emory, not to mention a diverse, in
some places challenging, and an often beautiful walk.
A paved trail winds its way from the entrance near the corner of
Clifton Road and Haygood Drive through the park around Lullwater
House and back again. Its pretty easy, although if walkers
circle the house counterclockwise, theyll have to climb perhaps
the steepest hill in the park. Traversing it at near the end of
a hike can be a thigh-burner.
While the current state of Lullwater Park is fodder for a great
deal of debate (the border trails adjacent to the VA Hospital could
hardly be called aesthetic), the natural beauty of the place is
The best way to see the unspoiled part of Lullwater is to exit
the paved trail and explore the many dirt trails around the parksomething
Hodge and the walking group do every time. In fact, Hodge said,
the walkers have hiked along every inch of trail in Lullwater.
And even made a few of our own, Weaver added.
Lullwaters trails are well-marked, mostly flat and easy to
negotiate. Some are wide enough to accommodate walkers and bikers
(of which Lullwater has quite a few), but mostprimarily those
in the center of the parkrequire lines in single file.
The popular loop around the Presidents House is 0.8 miles
(1.1 miles if measured from the front gate. The loop around Lullwater
Lake is 0.9 miles and the trail called the Hill Loop, which is accessible
from each of the previous trails, is 1.2 miles. Many walkers track
their steps by using a pedometer, which counts the number of steps
a person takes and then calculate the distance they have walked
The Lullwater walks are associated with a program the Emory Well
House rolled out in April called Emory AppleWalks: FootPaths to
Wellness, which is a comprehensive program aimed to promote walking
as a way to achieve better health.
The AppleWalks brochure notes not only paths around Lullwater,
but also the Quadrangle (three-and-a-half times around is just over
a mile) and the Clifton Corridor from the traffic light at North
Decatur Road to Wesley Woods (7,355 feetnearly one-and-a-half
Hodge said she hopes to see management take an active role in encouraging
employees to get fit. Some offices, such as financial aid, already
have walking groups, and next month another group will start up
in Human Resources. Its a good start, Hodge said, but she
knows more is possible.
This campus is going to become a walking campus and we should
start now, she said. Id like to see management
encourage staff to exercise by giving them an extra 15 minutes each
day to do something physical. And managers, supervisors should walk
with employees, too. People used to take smoking breaks, now they
should take walk breaks.