Do the LoCo Motion with me!

in Health by

You’ll need to eat your Wheaties to do the LoCo Motion, the Lowcountry’s three-day, 30-mile walk/run fundraiser for breast cancer. Participants will be hitting the neighborhoods and beaches of Hilton Head and Callawassie islands Sept. 27-29 in what promises to be a calorie-burning, spirit-lifting pink-athon.

But don’t sweat it. You’ve got plenty of time to train for the challenge of walking 10 miles, three days in a row.

“You want to start off slowly so your body can adjust to the physical activity,” said Hollie Fersner, an exercise physiologist at Beaufort Memorial Hospital’s LifeFit Wellness Center. “If you build up your stamina and endurance over time, your heart doesn’t have to work as hard.”

Once again this year, Beaufort Memorial is serving as lead sponsor of the event and offering training sessions to help participants prepare for the 10-mile-a-day treks. The workouts will be held at 5:30 p.m. Tuesdays and 8 a.m. Saturdays at the LifeFit Wellness Center, 955 Ribaut Rd. Call (843) 522-5637 for more information. “There’s strength in numbers,” Fersner said. “Walking or running with others makes your workout more fun. And you’re less likely to skip a session if you know there are people expecting you to show up.”

For many participants, LoCo Motion is the jump-start they need to get into a regular exercise routine. Even if you start just walking a half-mile, within weeks, you can build up to walking multiple miles at a stretch.

“This isn’t your typical 5K or half marathon,” said event organizer Laura Morgan. “It’s geared to people of all fitness levels. The goal here is to get people out and having a good time.”

Participants have the choice of walking or running, one, two or three days of the event. Those who complete all three legs will be awarded a commemorative medal. You don’t have to be registered for LoCo Motion to join the group workouts. As part of the sessions, trainers will provide tips on a variety of health and exercise topics, including hydration, footwear and nutrition.

“Hydration, especially during the middle of the summer, is very important,” said BMH Clinical Nutrition Manager Roxanne Davis-Cote. “Drink water throughout the day so your body is hydrated enough to start exercising.”

Proceeds from the event will benefit several regional cancer organizations, including Beaufort Memorial’s Keyserling Cancer Center.

“This event not only increases awareness of breast cancer, it gets people exercising and improving their health,” said Connie Duke, BMH director of cancer programs. “Being out of shape increases your risk of cancer and a multitude of other illnesses, including diabetes and heart disease.”

For more information or to sign up for the event, visit the LoCo Motion website at dothelocomotion.org or call (843) 540-3284. Registration forms also are available at all CoastalStates Bank branches.