Walk this Way - ChiWalking Demo!

Walk this way: Ken Andrews offers ChiWalking demo at Riverdays

two_people_walking_istock_000002426429xsmall.jpgWhen avid runner Ken Andrews injured his knee years ago, he learned an important lesson: the best things in life are Chi.

To regain his active lifestyle, Andrews turned to two exercise techniques that combine Tai Chi methods with aerobic activity - ChiWalking and ChiRunning. Now a certified instructor in both disciplines, he is working to promote healthy exercise in the Midland area. On July 18 at 8 a.m., Andrews will demonstrate ChiWalking concepts at a "Walk for Wellness" during the RIVERDAYS festival.

The event will include instruction in basic ChiWalking technique, as well as a brief group walk. Those interested in participating should meet at the flagpole near the Farmers' Market in downtown Midland.

"This is a great opportunity to learn information about the power of walking from an overall wellness point of view," Andrews said. "There are so many wonderful benefits to walking, and you don't need much equipment. This is a low-cost, high-return activity."

According to Andrews, many people treat walking as a "power exercise," using their muscles too much. By embracing Tai Chi's emphasis on posture and inner awareness, ChiWalking and ChiRunning creator Danny Dreyer developed a more relaxed alternative.

"These movements are very balanced and very aligned and use gravity a whole lot more efficiently. Instead of muscle, gravity is your propulsion," Andrews said. "It takes much less effort."

ChiWalking and ChiRunning, Andrews said, offer valuable techniques for anyone.

"Because it's called ChiWalking, some people think you have to be into Eastern philosphy to do it. In reality, Chi just means energy or life force. ChiWalking helps unlock energy. Anyone can use it."

A native of New Zealand, Andrews has a background in music and corporate business. He offers ChiWalking and ChiRunning instruction through his Midland company, ReallyBeThere. In addition, he is a member of a number of community organizations dedicated to promoting health and wellness.

"People can really be wherever they want to be, in terms of health and fitness, if they get access to the right information, the right coaching, and the right support," he said.

For more information about the Riverdays Walk for Wellness, contact the Midland Area Community Foundation at 989-839-9661.