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Suits and Sneakers Descend on New Downtown Walking Path

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Though it may be an artery-cloggingly delicious way to live, make no mistake. Heart disease is still the number-one killer of Americans. And according to the American Heart Association, almost 67 percent of Texans are considered overweight or obese.

That's why more than 100 suits turned up downtown today, wearing fresh, seldom-used kicks dug up from the corner of a closet. They descended on the Houston Pavilions, where the American Heart Association had just unveiled a new downtown walking path.

Jonathon Coit, a local man who shed 100 pounds by exercising and eating better, told his weight-loss story before the suits all went for a stroll together. After working in the cardiac and stroke wards of a hospital, Coit said he saw patients die who were younger than he. "I started exercising like there was no tomorrow," he said. Coit used to take four diabetic medications, a cholesterol pill and four insulin shots each day. Now, he's down to just one diabetic medication.

Reggie Flye Sr., a fitness instructor who teaches free early morning boot camp classes at the Houston Pavilion, said he thinks the program is a good way for the out-of-shape to start exercising. "For most of these people, the class that I teach is too hard for them," he said. "This is a lot easier. I see a lot more people here than show up for my class."

Now, Flye will start hosting a lunchtime walk every Wednesday around the new walking path. "If this doesn't get it done, they're not going to change at all," Flye said.

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