More than 7,000 Canadians Together Log Thousands of Kilometers in National
Walking Event Highlighting the Benefits of Physical Activity

- Weight Watchers(R) Canada and Running Room Canada Team Up for the Country's First Weight Watchers Walk-It Challenge -

TORONTO, June 24 /CNW/ - Amid recent reports that paint a somber picture of the fitness levels of Canadians, more than 7,000 people from coast to coast hit the streets yesterday to show that increasing daily activity can be as easy as lacing up a pair of sneakers and putting one foot in front of the other. The nationwide walk was part of the country's first ever Weight Watchers Walk-It Challenge, a partnership between Weight Watchers Canada and Running Room Canada designed to encourage Canadians to move more and reach the goal of walking 5 kilometers. Free 5K walk events were held at Running Room locations across the country, attracting walkers of all fitness levels in a grand display of active living. The event is important as increasing physical activity is linked with certain health benefits such as reduced cholesterol and lower blood pressure.

Running Room founder John Stanton and Paul Schiffner, General Manager of Weight Watchers Canada, joined close to 200 walkers taking steps toward a healthier lifestyle in Toronto. Though Stanton is now an avid runner, he knows firsthand the importance of taking those first simple steps toward active living.

"When I started running I would only go out before dawn because I was self-conscious about my neighbours seeing this 'chubby little guy' run from lamp post to lamp post before taking a break," Stanton recalled. "But introducing physical activity into your life doesn't need to be a struggle. It starts with small steps and attainable goals, which is what the Weight Watchers Walk-It Challenge has demonstrated."

Schiffner agrees. "Our goal for the Walk-It Challenge is to inspire Canadians to take those first steps toward a healthier lifestyle that includes regular activity and smart food choices," he said. "Health goals can be accessible when you take them one step at a time."

With the success of the inaugural Weight Watchers Walk-It Challenge, Weight Watchers Canada and Running Room Canada look forward to making the challenge an annual one.

    About Weight Watchers Canada Ltd.

Weight Watchers Canada Ltd. is a subsidiary of Weight Watchers International, Inc., which is the world's leading provider of weight management services, operating globally through a network of Company-owned and franchise operations. Weight Watchers International, Inc. holds almost 50,000 meetings each week where members receive group support and learn about healthy eating patterns, behavior modification and physical activity. provides innovative, subscription weight management products over the Internet and is the leading Internet-based weight management provider in the world. In addition, Weight Watchers International, Inc. offers a wide range of products, publications and programs for those interested in weight loss and weight control.

To learn more about Weight Watchers services, products and publications in Canada, visit To find the nearest Weight Watchers meeting location, call 1-800-651-6000 or click on the "Find a Meeting" link at the top of our homepage.

    About Running Room Canada

Running Room Canada is North America's largest specialty running and walking retailer of running-specific apparel, footwear and accessories operating 93 stores in Canada and 8 in the USA. Running Room Canada provides running and walking training programs at their retail locations from expert trainers for aspiring walkers and runners. The company carries all major brands of running and walking products, including its own apparel line. Running Room Fit-Wear(R) and Walking Room Fit-Wear(R) are 100% designed and tested in Canada to perform under the extreme weather conditions faced by Canadians walking or running outdoors year-round.

/NOTE TO PHOTO EDITORS: A photo accompanying this release is available at Images are free to accredited members of the media/

SOURCE Weight Watchers Canada

For further information: For further information: Chantal Richard, Idea Workshop, 416.504.3977 ext. 23,

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Weight Watchers Canada

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