ST. CLOUD -- A group designed to bring veterans together for a light exercise is in full swing at the St. Cloud VA.

The St. Cloud VA Nordic Walking Group started late last fall and has since been brought back for the summer season. Leah Egan is a Recreation Therapist at the St. Cloud VA. She says Nordic walking provides many health benefits compared to just regular walking.

"It's a total body version of walking so it's using your core. It's helping with your balance and it also helps with I think, some of the weight bearing on your joints because you can lean on the poles a little bit more. Overall it just helps with walking in general."

Class instruction and poles are provided by Linda Lemke, a local volunteer. The group meets twice a month for a one-hour walk. Egan says the group has been growing so much that they are looking at combining it with another program at the VA.

"We also have our Move Program which is a weight loss program that we do at the VA that our dietitian is in charge of and she actually does a walk earlier in the morning so we're actually going to incorporate Linda's Nordic walking into her walks and so that they can use the poles as well."

Egan says with this program merge they are hoping to offer Nordic walking twice a week. Right now eight veterans are a part of the Nordic Walking Group.

The group meets at the St. Cloud VA fitness center in Building 48, room 16. Their next walking date is set for June 21. If you're interested in joining follow the link below or call Egan at 320-252-1670, extension 6180.

Nordic walking will also be featured in this year's St. Cloud VA Summer Games event in August.

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