Winter wonderland walking

The weather outside is frightful with its sub-zero temperatures and howling wind, but that won’t keep a group focused on staying active from enjoying the beauty of winter and getting some exercise.

Winter Walk Minot will take place Sunday, Dec. 15, in Oak Park at 6:30 p.m. It had been scheduled for Sunday, Dec. 8, but was postponed due to the expected below-zero temperatures. Participants in the event will walk the “Christmas in the Park” holiday light show presented by the Sertoma Club of Minot at no charge. It will be a leisurely pace, family-friendly and last 30 to 45 minutes. People are encouraged to dress warm and bring a flashlight since it will be dark.

The walk is being conducted as part of an activity through Minot Area Team Wellness, a group of various professionals from the community and who have a stake in community wellness. Walk Minot is a series of community walks planned to create awareness of Minot’s trail system, promote physical activity and encourage citizens to get outside and enjoy the city.

Ellen Bjelland, a member of Minot Area Team Wellness and extension agent in family and consumer sciences at NDSU Extension Service for Ward County, said Winter Walk Minot is for anyone and for all ages. Similar walks have taken place for the past few years.

In the past, attendance to the winter walks have been varied, Bjelland said, and there have been 30 to 75 people who have participated in them. Attendance depends on the weather, she added. “When it’s really cold, people either hunker down or decide to put on another layer and get out there.”

Minot Area Team Wellness encourages outdoor activities year-round, Bjelland said. “We as Americans don’t do enough outdoors, especially in North Dakota, and we need to promote that,” she said. There are plenty of activities to do outside, even in the winter, Bjelland said, like cross-country skiing, broomball, ice skating or sledding. “We want to provide easy activities,” she added. “And we want to make the healthy choice the easy choice.”

Winter Walk Minot is an activity done as a community, on a flat surface and in an enjoyable environment, Bjelland said. “This walk meets the major criteria for making health easy.”