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91 and Still Walking the Walk

Hal Mathews and Tom Studwell walk together twice a week—for the exercise, peace of mind, friendship and a little bit, for the ladies.

For these friends, and others who visit the Weston High School track on Tuesday and Thursday mornings with the Senior Activities Center Walking Club, the jaunts are something to look forward to.

Studwell, who says he is "91 and a half," has taken regular walks near his home for years. "It's been a benefit, no question about it," he said, adding that he believes walking is the best form of exercise.

But exercise isn't the only plus of coming to the track. Another? "Girl watching."

Mathews, who encouraged Studwell to walk with the club, said a medical issue years ago inspired him to change his lifestyle by quitting smoking and exercising more. He doesn't like pushing himself too hard. "Don't invite pain," he said. The pair also keep active doing yoga at the senior center. "Yoga is the marriage of mind and body," said Mathews.Ray Rauth, who started the club in April, walks, bikes and runs. Except for a short period when he was injured, he has exercised every day since he made a commitment to himself in 1989. "Every day I personally get out and do something, either walk or run, before I do anything else," he said. "I have never gone out, ever, when I didn't feel better when I came back." He plans to formally restart the club in the fall and draw in new recruits.

Rauth said anyone can benefit from walks, but advises checking with a physician before starting a program. Although he has not regularly met with the club since May, he attends from time to time to see who is sticking with it.Helga and George Abrach keep coming because they too made a commitment. "You feel awfully guilty if you don't show up," Helga said.

And the walkers keep coming, even in the heat. "They tell me they're happier now," said Rauth. "They say they feel better, and somebody told me the other day that they've lost some weight. I would really love to see everybody in Weston walk or run."

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