Sitka Community Hospital launches Active August Fitness Challenge geared toward walking and biking

Commuting by bicycle or on foot is an economical and environmentally responsible way to simultaneously meet your needs for transportation, physical activity and fun all in one! In the month of August, Sitka Community Hospital will hold a summer fitness challenge encouraging Sitka residents to leave the car behind and instead enjoy a walk or bike ride as they do their regular errands and commutes.

Sitka residents can start logging trips at any point to be eligible for weekly drawing by completing one or more non-motorized transportation trips a week. On Tuesdays, starting on Aug. 8, one local resident will be selected to win a $100 gift certificate to a local business, the second-place winner will get a free class at the Hames Center. Cyclists or walkers who participate in all four weeks of the challenge will be entered into the grand prize drawing.

“Sitka really is a great place to experience on foot or bike and because we are compact, have courteous drivers, and a mild climate it’s possible to combine exercise with basic commuting. Every day lots of people in Sitka are doing just that,” Sitka Community Hospital Director of Health Promotion Doug Osborne said.

Participants can enter online at  or drop off a hard copy at the Hames Center, Sitka Public Library, Sitka Public Health Center or Oceanside Therapy Center.

For more information, visit or call 747-0373.

• Sitka Community Hospital Active August Challenge Brochure 2017

Hames Center announces new season of Senior Walking Hours program

Senior Walk July 17th Start Date

Seniors, now you can walk your way to better health and connect with friends with the next season of senior walking hours.

Join us from 10-11 a.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays starting on Tuesday, July 19 (note, the date on the flier is incorrect), at the Hames Center for a walking program designed for seniors to make new friends and meet their fitness goals. This program originally launched in April and is relaunching for the summer now that the gym floor has been resurfaced.

Led by trained Hames Center instructors, this program is donation-based and open to all seniors, caregivers, and those with specialized walking needs. The Hames Center gym is handicap-accessible, so people who need to use wheelchairs, canes, and other assistive devices are welcome. Pedometers are available to track your progress while you gain strength and balance.

In addition to the twice-weekly senior walking hours, the Hames Center hosts strength and balance training classes from 9:30-10:30 a.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays with special senior rates.

For more information, call 747-5080 or visit

Get up and move on Wednesday, April 6, for National Walking Day


Wednesday, April 6, is the American Heart Association‘s National Walking Day, and on this day companies, organizations and individuals across America are going to wear sneakers to work, take 30 minutes to walk and pledge to live heart-healthy lives.

Photo courtesy of Sitka National Historical Park

Photo courtesy of Sitka National Historical Park

These days, adults like spend more time at work than ever before, much of it chained to a desk. An unfortunate side effect is that, as a nation, we’re becoming more inactive. This is a problem when you consider the fact that physical inactivity doubles the risk of heart disease.

On National Walking Day, employees are encouraged to wear sneakers to work and take at least 30 minutes out of their day to get up and walk. It’s a great way to raise awareness of the importance of physical activity and to give your co-workers a friendly push toward a healthier life.

By downloading the National Walking Day toolkit, worksite employee wellness teams can design one-day walking events or six-week walking programs to help get employees and bosses more active. Some tips include holding walking meetings, setting up printers so you have to walk down the hall to get your printouts, standing up every time you talk on the phone, and holding lunchtime walks. Getting out and walking helps reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes, some forms of cancer and other medical conditions, and walking also helps relieve work stress and gives employees a chance to recharge for the rest of the work day.

In Sitka, people can participate in a variety of walking/hiking programs, such as Park Prescriptions and the Park Prescriptions Active April Challenge, the Senior Walking Hours program at the Hames Center, the Southeast Alaska Independent Living (SAIL) Senior Hiking Club (note, next hike is 1-3:15 p.m. on April 14 on the Cross Trail), Sitka Trail Works, and more. Or they can walk on their own, with family or their dogs. Just get out and enjoy Sitka’s natural beauty by hiking one of Sitka’s numerous trails, the Sitka Sea Walk, or through the totem trails at Sitka National Historical Park.

Hames Center to launch twice-weekly walking program for seniors


Seniors, now you can walk your way to better health and connect with friends.

Beginning Tuesday, April 5, join us from 10-11 a.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays at the Hames Center for our walking program designed for seniors to make new friends and meet their fitness goals.

Led by trained Hames Center instructors, this program is donation-based and open to all seniors, caregivers, and those with specialized walking needs. Pedometers are available to track your progress while you gain strength and balance.

For more information, call 747-5080 or visit

Sitka National Historical Park hosts its second annual National Trails Day event Saturday, June 1

NTD flyer 2013 v2

Come celebrate the outdoors and get healthy. Sitka National Historical Park will host a day-long event in honor of the American Hiking Society’s 21st annual National Trails Day® on Saturday, June 1. The event will be held at the park’s Visitor Center from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and it is a day dedicated to park trails, health and the community of Sitka.

Free presentations and activities will occur on the hour. We will have booths from our local partners set up in the lobby. Local dog walkers are encouraged to come out and take a photo with a ranger or get a healthy treat for your four-legged friends. And kids can join in the fun as well. Come on out, there is something for everyone.

Schedule of Events

  • 8 a.m. — Feathers and Fitness — Bird watching can be great exercise, join a park ranger for a walk in the park to discover the diverse species of birds that call the park home.
  • 9 a.m. — Park Watch Volunteer Program — Stewardship for health. Learn from park rangers how you can provide local stewardship and increase public safety while walking the park trails.
  • 10 a.m. — Trail Bootcamp — Ever want to use the trails for cardio and resistance exercises? Here is your chance. Join Carrie Johnson from Hames Center for a quick 45-minute Bootcamp on the trail. All resistance exercises will use your own body weight. This interval-based workout is tailored for all fitness levels. Hop on the trail and let’s get fit.
  • 11 a.m. – PT in the Park — With Alicia Olsen-Haseltine, DPT, from Sitka Physical Therapy, participate in dynamic stretching and functional exercises with tips on injury prevention.
  • Noon — Prize Drawing — Park Prescriptions participants’ $100 quarterly prize drawing sponsored by Sitka Community Hospital Foundation.
  • Noon — Park Prescriptions Presentation — Check for $250 presented to Alaska Geographic to support the Park Prescriptions Program from the Sitka Health Summit.
  • 1 p.m. — Healthy Raw Energy Desserts — Demonstration and sampling of fabulous desserts by Koali Pontual-Thorne from Botanika Organic Spa.
  • 2 p.m.- Yoga in the Park — Yoga for the trail hiker. Add more balance to your routine with Andrea Thomas from Yoga Union.
  • 3 p.m. — Animal Olympics for Kids — Kids come out and join a ranger for games that test your fitness against the animals in the park like bears, sea otters and ravens.
  • 4 p.m. — Sitka Conservation Society — Learn about two programs, the Fish to Schools program and Alaska Way of Life 4H, that promote healthy and sustainable lifestyles by getting kids to experience