INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) - There may be no more peaceful place to walk than the 555 acres of Crown Hill Cemetery, and to entice walkers, officials with Crown Hill have started a walking club with prizes and cash.
Hamilton Southeastern teacher, Lori Small, signed up and takes her dog along for the company.
"I like it, it's peaceful, it's quiet," says Small. "You see something new everyday. You see familiar names, I like exploring, it's beautiful."
There are 25 miles of road in Crown Hill, the third largest non-governmental cemetery in the country. Trees provide shade; there are 150 species. A herd of deer is known to trample through the grounds early morning and evening.
But the gem at Crown Hill is its history. James Whitcomb Riley, President Benjamin Harrison, Sodoku inventor Howard Garns even infamous bank robber, John Dillinger are all buried in the Crown Hill grounds.
"A lot of people, if you're not familiar with Crown Hill, you might have a preconceived notion, says Crown Hill Executive Abbi Martzall. "But we're a huge part of Indiana history, we have a lot of notable people here
and it's a beautiful place to walk and be outside."
Walking these grounds has all sorts of benefits.
The Diabetes Prevention Program showed that walking 150 minutes per week and losing just 7 percent of your body weight can reduce your risk of diabetes by 58 percent.
Research also shows walking strengthens the hearts of both men and women.
It helps if you have the blues. Walking 30 minutes, three to five times a week for 12 weeks reduced symptoms of depression as measured with a standard depression questionnaire, by 47 percent.
For IPS' Judith Heise, it's all about weight loss.
"I definitely want to accomplish at least 15 pounds off, I've told my students at school that I'm going to come back with 15 pounds off, so far I haven't quite reached that goal," Heise said.
To attract walkers, the funeral home is giving out prizes after walkers log 25, 50, 75 and 100 miles. A cash prize for the most miles logged, will be awarded the end of October.
Walkers are still signing up for the program. If you are interested log onto crownhill.org.
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