Group meets for exercise, devotion

Published 1:34 am Saturday, January 26, 2013

Those traveling up and down Belleville Avenue on any given Sunday may see more activity than normal with people walking along the way.

Alecia Glaize, a pastor at First United Methodist Church, has organized a group of people who have formed a walking group meeting every Sunday afternoon.

“This group is loosely organized, I guess you could say,” Glaize said. “It’s very informal. There aren’t any rules, no registration, no fees and no special requirements when it comes to being part of the group.”

Glaize said her own pursuit of fitness and a healthy lifestyle lead to the organization of the walking effort each week.

“I had been a part of a group before that had a highly structured program to learn healthy ways of eating,” Glaize said. “The Prism Group helped people to break the addiction of unhealthy foods like sugars and junk carbohydrates. I want to get back to making more healthy decisions with diet and exercise. This just seemed like a good way to head back in that direction.”

Glaize said her friend, Deborah Marriott, was a part of the Prism Group with her and has agreed to help out with the newly organized exercise group.

“Deborah has agreed to help out with this, but it’s really up to the people who are involved to make it work,” Glaize said. “We meet together in the church parking lot and have a very brief devotional. Then we all set out walking and enjoy time with each other on the walk.”

The “Getting Back on Track” group allows people to choose their level of involvement, Glaize said.

“We don’t have a set time to achieve our walk,” Glaize said. “We have set a distance for the walk, but people can stop anywhere along the way they feel they need to. We know that people have to work up to levels of stamina and ability anytime you start a new exercise program. We certainly don’t want anyone to overdo it and hurt themselves. Those who join us can work at their own pace.”

Glaize said the walking route has been set up to begin at the First United Methodist Church parking lot and moving down Belleville Avenue toward the Brewton City Park in the downtown area.

“To walk from the church to the park and back is a two-mile walk,” Glaize said. “Some people have never walked two miles at one time, so it may be a challenge.”

Glaize said those who have already started with the walking group have met some challenges and are overcoming them.

“In the beginning, walking that two miles was a little difficult,” Glaize said. “But, after a little while, they are meeting the challenge and even picking up their pace a little. That’s what this group is all about — getting back on track and getting a good start at a healthy lifestyle with benefit of a little exercise, too.”

Glaize said the group is open to anyone who wants to walk, but prefers not to do it alone.

“We really don’t have any restrictions on who joins us,” Glaize said. “It could be men, women, children — anyone who wants to get out and walk. It’s open to anyone from anywhere. They don’t have to be members of First United Methodist Church. We simply meet as a group and do some walking.”

Glaize said some members of the group are working toward a goal of being prepared to join a couple of fundraising walk/run events in neighboring communities.

“Right now, some of us are on a goal to be able to do the 5K run/walk in Gulf Breeze as a fundraiser for church missions in February,” Glaize said. “Not everyone can do that, but we’re all reaching for a goal.”

The group meets each Sunday afternoon at 4 p.m. near the fountain in the parking lot of the church on Belleville Avenue.