Walk for health, walk for love

Updated: 2013-09-20 16:16

(China Daily)

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Walk for health, walk for love

Volunteer Eason Chan, the famous Hong Kong actor/singer, hands over Ice Dew water to a participant of the Walk for Love campaign in Hangzhou on Thursday. Provided to China Daily

In addition to being great exercise, taking a stroll can be a feel-good social activity

Physically and mentally, walking has long been regarded as one of the best ways to stay healthy and also unearth some of China's hidden delights.

Since the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, more and more Chinese have taken up walking to keep fit, which has coincided with an increase in the number walking activities that have been organized around the nation.

During World Walking Day on May 8 of each year, people from different backgrounds come together to celebrate the most simple of activities.

China has also become a member of the International Volkssport Federation, the world's largest walking clubs organization.

Festivals promote walking

Even some of China's traditional festivals have been used to promote walking.

The most recent was on Mid-Autumn Day on Thursday, which also saw the launch of a campaign called "Walk for Love" in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province.

Organized by Ice Dew, a mineral water brand under Coca-Cola, and One Foundation, the Hangzhou event attracted thousands of enthusiasts, including some celebrities, for a 40-kilometer trek through the mountains surrounding the famous West Lake.

The campaign also encouraged participants to gain sponsorships, with the funds donated to improve living conditions for children in poverty-stricken areas.

Wang Xiao, a kindergarten teacher in Hangzhou, took part in the walk and was moved by the participants' efforts and passion.

"I am a kindergarten teacher, so I know how important clean water is to children's health," she said.

"When I knew there was such a campaign calling for people nationwide to take part, I signed up on the website, called some of my friends to join me and collected some money.

"I also walk quite a way along the West Lake every weekend. It's a popular lifestyle choice in this city. This time, I walked not only to promote healthy lifestyles, but also to draw more attention to the plight of children in poor areas. This made the walk more meaningful."

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