Employees at Christiana and Wilmington hospitals have access to two new indoor walking trails, with bright orange Christy Caregiver signs showing the way.

“We look forward to partnering with employees to get healthier,” said Chris Corbo, corporate director, Benefits and Wellness. “Our new wellness ambassador, Christy Caregiver, is all about practical ways each of us can work wellness into our days. The walking trail is just another tool.”

Walking does not require extensive training. You don’t have to be a gifted athlete to be a good walker. The only equipment you need is a good pair of shoes.

The health benefits of walking are significant. According to the American Heart Association, walking 150 minutes a week — that’s 30 minutes, five days a week — increases cardiovascular and pulmonary fitness, reducing the risk of stroke and heart attack.

The 0.2 mile indoor walking trail at Wilmington Hospital loops around the Healing Garden and through the atrium.

“The launch of the wellness walking trails were perfect timing as it coincided with Nurses Week,” said Richard G. Cuming, Ed.D., MSN, RN, NEA-BC, chief nurse executive at Christiana Care. “The American Nurses Association has designated 2017 as the ‘Year of the Healthy Nurse’—so let’s get walking!”

Walking helps to manage hypertension, high cholesterol and diabetes. It also strengthens bones and muscles. Walking is a great stress buster, too. Exercise elevates our mood and helps us to sleep better.

“It’s a great thing to do on a lunch break or just when you need a break from the day,” said Danielle Broadwater, Wellness Program coordinator. “Employees tell us they want walking to be accessible and fun. This definitely makes it easier for employees to be active.”

Capitalizing on Christiana Hospital’s large campus size, the .5 mile indoor walking trail spans the hospital and medical arts pavilions.

The Christiana Hospital trail starts at the John H. Ammon Medical Education Center Lobby and extends to Medical Arts Pavilion 2. This trail isn’t new, but new signs heighten its visibility.

The new trail at Wilmington Hospital begins in the first-floor atrium by the employee entrance, around the interior perimeter of the healing garden.

Indoor walking trails remove a barrier from walking. It doesn’t matter if it’s raining or snowing. You can walk in a dry, climate-controlled environment. Shopping malls and some high schools open their corridors to walkers before or after business hours.

“Over the past few years, Facilities & Services has actively participated in the annual Fitness Center challenge,” Bob Mulrooney, vice president of Facilities and Services. “The launch of the updated wellness walking trail is another great way to stay active.”