Hey, babe, take a walk on the Y side.

Hey, babe, take a walk on the Y side.

Officials at the North YMCA on Sandalwood Boulevard are opening the gymnasium two mornings a week to let members and nonmembers alike get in from the cold and get in some light exercise.

The popular "Walk with a Doc" program, sponsored at Woodward Park by the North Side Health Advisory Committee and others, is on hiatus for the winter, so North Y staff members decided to try to fill the fitness void, Executive Director Marci Hasty said last week.

The YMCA of Central Ohio partnered with Mount Carmel Health Systems and the local health advisory panels in the nonprofit Walk with a Doc program, providing volunteers at various sites in the spring and fall, Hasty said. The Northland-area walks at the park off Karl Road had the most participants, drawing between 25 and 45 walkers on Saturday mornings, she added.

With outdoor walks unlikely to bring in anywhere near that number of people on brutal winter weekends, Hasty said she and others on the staff at the North YMCA looked at the schedule of classes and events to provide some time for folks to get in a little strolling in the warmth of the facility.

Working around other times when the gym is occupied, they came up with Tuesdays from 7 to 8:30 a.m. and Sundays between 10 and 11 a.m.

"It's open to the public," Hasty said. "If they're nonmembers, we just ask them to complete a guest pass form."

The North Y's gymnasium encompasses two full basketball courts and has a walking path on the perimeter. Circling that path 13 times adds up to a mile, according to Hasty.