FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — The fitness trend "Hot Girl Walk" started during the pandemic and nationwide women started walking together in groups. The organizer for Wednesday's walk in Fayetteville got inspired and wanted to bring a sense of harmony to the area.
“I just wanted to get a strong community of women together and kind of see where we can take things,” said walk organizer Katarina Derrick.
Derrick was a gymnast at the University of Arkansas and during her career, she had three knee surgeries and struggled to find ways to exercise.
“So, I figured now would be a great time to combine walking, which I love and starting a new community of girls who are either new to college or just looking for a group of friends to kind of help out with,” Derrick said.
She says the group that gathered on Aug. 10 just so happened to be young women, but her goal for the walking group is to have women of all ages come together.
“Like you said, I want it to be all-inclusive and I want everyone to feel like they can come by themselves or bring friends,” Derrick said.
Those who took part in the walk say it’s a way to have an outlet with women in the community and improve your overall mental and physical health.
“But, mentally I think that it’ll definitely push everyone to get outside and even surrounding yourself with people is really good for mental health,” said walk participant Hailey Garner.
The event has already made an impact on women and organizers say it will continue to grow.
“It definitely takes a toll on my life…like getting to know people and meeting new people so I hope that it does the same for everybody else,” Garner said.
Additionally, Fayetteville Health Officer Dr. Marti Sharkey says walking has several benefits for both physical and mental health.
"The increased blood flow and circulation boost your mood by calming your nervous system and decreasing stress," Dr. Sharkey said. "A consistent walking routine can reduce cholesterol and improve cardiovascular health. Any increased movement can aid in weight loss.”
Derrick says going forward she plans to take walks with the group bi-weekly.
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