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'Joy Walks', walking clubs for older adults, launched in all Boston neighborhoods

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Age Strong Commission

As part of her Joy Agenda, Mayor Kim Janey and the Age Strong Commission today announced Joy Walks, public walking clubs for older Boston residents.

Older adults are invited to join neighborhood Joy Walks walking clubs and participate in the Joy Walks Challenge taking place September through October. 

“I’m so excited to launch this program, encouraging our older adults citywide to join with friends, neighbors, and families outdoors for an opportunity to safely reconnect throughout our neighborhoods,” said Mayor Janey. “I am proud to work alongside the Age Strong Commission to further promote the Joy Agenda and bring residents safely back together.”

“The Mayor’s Joy Walks are a safe and fun way for older adults to socialize outdoors in open-air spaces,” shares Emily Shea, Age Strong Commissioner. “It will be wonderful to see so many of Boston’s older adults enjoying each other, the outdoor weather, and joy through movement.” Proven health benefits of walking include lowering blood pressure, strengthening bones/muscles, relieving stress and anxiety, improving circulation and digestion, and better sleep.

Joy Walks will be organized by neighborhood organizations, including Boston Centers for Youth and Families (BCYF) and through Age Strong Commission partnerships with senior residential communities, senior and community centers, and nonprofit organizations serving many Boston immigrant communities. 

The Joy Walks Challenge will award prizes to participants in categories including most miles walked by a group, most miles walked by a duo (a walker pushing a non-ambulatory participant), and most number of walks by a group. Joy Walks participants will enjoy complimentary pedometers, water bottles, and t-shirts. Older adults and Joy Walks clubs are invited to walk at designated Age Friendly walking paths, over 20 walking paths in Boston that are smooth-surfaced, stair-free, with parking close by. View age-friendly walking paths.

Residents and existing walking clubs may sign up by Wednesday, August 25, in person at Boston Boston Centers for Youth and Families locations, or by reaching Renee Frechette at the Age Strong Commission at 617-635-4168 or renee.frechette@boston.gov

Announced in May, the Joy Agenda encourages residents of the City of Boston to find a collective space to promote joy and encourage the processing of shared grief. The mission is to create an environment where residents can reflect on what joy means to Boston, especially as the City recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic.

ABOUT THE AGE STRONG COMMISSION

The Age Strong Commission works towards making Boston a city that fully embraces aging. Our mission is to enhance the lives of people 55+ with meaningful programs, resources, and connections so we can live and age strong together in Boston. For more than 50 years, we have served constituents as a City department, Council on Aging, and Area Agency on Aging. In 2017, the Commission launched its Age-Friendly Action Plan, which is the City's blueprint to make Boston the best city to live and age in. Learn more at boston.gov/age-strong.

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