DuBOIS — Between the first of April 2017 and the end of last month, Matthew Kelly, 35, of Reynoldsville, had walked 956 miles at the DuBois Mall.
Kelly is one of more than 200 area residents who are registered participants in the Mall Walkers program jointly sponsored by Penn Highlands Hospital and the mall.
According to the mall’s administrative assistant Chris Quashnock, the program was started in April 2013.
Kelly has been a participant for the past three years.
Between April 2015 and March 2016 he walked 1,734 laps of the mall for a total of 867 miles; between April 2016 and March 2017 he walked 1,806 laps for 903 miles.
When someone joins the program, Quashnock said, the suggested “starting goal” is four laps two times per week. Achieving that goal results in the accumulation of 52 miles per quarter.
Participants keep track of their progress on sheets provided by the mall and the hospital, turning them in to the mall office at the end of every quarter in return for “goodies” provided by mall merchants.
The record keeping sheets also include helpful advice to walkers. The current one (for April, May and June 2018), for instance includes advice on choosing the right pair of walking shoes.
After a participant turns in his or her fourth record keeping sheet, he or she is given a t-shirt bearing the program’s logo.
There is no charge for participation in the program, Quashnock said.
The t-shirt presented to Kelly last week was his third.
Walking the mall is not Kelly’s only exercise activity. He also goes through a 15-minute upper body workout routine twice a day at home.
Now weighing in at about 175 pounds, Kelly said he has lost about 100 pounds by combining his exercise and walking routines with what was at first a 1,350 calorie per day and is now a 2,100 calorie per day diet.
And the Reynoldsille walker said he enjoys his daily walks around the mall.
“I really enjoy walking the mall,” he said last week. “It makes me happy. It gets my day off to a good start.”