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For 30 years, Wellness Institute promotes walking for good health

Next year will mark the 30th anniversary of the Wellness Institute of Greater Buffalo. Its mission is to create a healthy community. Executive Director Phil Habersto says one of the ways of doing this is through the promotion of walking.

For five years now, the Wellness Institute has been working with other community partners in the tracking of steps. Haberstro says over five years, the goal has increased from a modest ten million steps per year to the current year's goal of 100 million steps. He says one such partner is the group "Explore Buffalo."

"They've had more than 14,000 people go on their walks and tours. We calculated that to be 43 million steps," Haberstro said. "They know how many people are walking and how far they walked."

Haberstro brands walking as the "grand slam" of physical activity because of the health, social and environmental benefits it generates.

He says there are more greenway trails for walking and that newly-reconstructed streets are almost always more pedestrian friendly.

Next June, the Wellness Institute will host a walkability summit at the Buffalo Grand Hotel, formerly the Adam's Mark.