Free McKeesport fitness program keeps walkers in shape and 'wise'
By Michael DiVittorio
Published: Monday, Sept. 16, 2013, 4:11 a.m.
McKeesport's Chester Spiegel regularly walks laps around the Blue Top Pavilion in Renziehausen Park.
“It's a healthy thing. It makes me feel good,” Spiegel, 81, said. “It gets me in shape to get down to the Y. It's good exercise. Gets your heart pumping.”
Spiegel is one of many enrolled in Carnegie Library of McKeesport's free Wise Walk program. Participants of all ages gather on Tuesdays at 3:30 p.m. at the McKeesport Heritage Center at 1832 Arboretum Dr. Then they head to the park to walk about a mile, and sometimes more, along the trail, returning to the center around 4:30 p.m. to record their steps.
Walkers receive T-shirts and pedometers. Water and snacks are provided at the end of each walk.
The program is sponsored by UPMC for Life, AARP and the Allegheny County Library Association.
“It always goes well,” assistant library director and Wise Walk coordinator Kelley Morten said. “People enjoy it. We accommodate everyone.”
Spiegel prefers the Blue Top area because it usually is cool.
“It's shady under there. The sun's not hitting it as much,” he said.
The track takes walkers past the Blue Top and Jacob Woll pavilions through a wooded area where small animals are often seen, over a few small hills, then past a playground and a parking lot.
Janice Zahorchak, 60, of White Oak walks with her mother Regina Zahorchak, 86, of McKeesport. They said they read about the program in The Daily News and wanted to check it out.
“This keeps her going, strengthens her legs,” Janice Zahorchak said. “She couldn't walk after having heart problems. Now she even goes with me to Zumba up at Angora Gardens.”
“It's really relaxing. Regina Zahorchak said. “We come every week, even when it's raining. I dislocated my shoulder and I still came.”
The program provides an opportunity to make new friends and enjoy an activity with others.
“You're here for the same reason,” Morten said. “I think doing any activity leads to camaraderie. It's a nice combination of personalities. The program is designed for people over 50, but we don't restrict it to people over 50. Anybody can sign up for it.”
Jimmy Bruce, 83, of Port Vue participated last year, and brought 10 new walkers to the program this year.
“I try to average seven to 10 miles a day for seven days,” Bruce said. “That's 70 miles a week. Chester knows I'm not making this up. That's what I do. I come back for health.”
Bruce said he likes to compete against himself.
“If you walk with somebody, either they're going fast and run out of gas or they're slow,” he said. “I walk at my own pace. That's how I get my miles.”
Twenty to 40 walkers show up on a given Tuesday afternoon. Wise Walk continues through Nov. 12.
The program also is offered May through July. No registration is required. Call 412-672-0625 for more information.
Michael DiVittorio is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-664-9161 ext. 1965, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- McKeesport man wanted in shooting nabbed in Elizabeth Township
- Oakmont father-son team’s efforts help add Mon Valley names to police memorial
- McKeesport crews prep for new KaBOOM! playground
- McKeesport student to celebrate Jackie Robinson’s legacy
- Serra Catholic High School friary to house foreign students
- 5 Operation Pork Chop defendants sentenced to 5 years probation
- Officials in North Versailles fed up with littering
- East Allegheny wins Kennywood’s Education Days contest
- Markosek supports McCord for governor
- Duquesne fire displaces 2 families
- Dravosburg residents try to save PNC Bank from closing