Can eight weeks change your life and improve your health? Taking part in Walk Across Arkansas might just do that, say organizers of the statewide public health initiative.
“We’ve had past participants tell us that getting in the habit of walking or taking part in other fitness activities during that eight weeks did change their lives,” said Addie Wilson, extension program associate-health for the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture. “Many of our participants said they had more energy, slept better, strengthened their relationships, lost weight and/or inches, improved their blood pressure, improved their blood panels, and controlled their stress.”
Last year, Walk Across Arkansas participants logged more than 1.2 million minutes of exercise time. Wilson said that equated to a healthcare cost savings of $30,356.
Registration for the spring edition of Walk Across Arkansas begins March 11. The eight weeks of Walk Across Arkansas begins March 25. Registration and other information may be found at www.walk.uaex.edu; or contact your county extension office.
While participants don’t actually walk across the state, participants come from all over Arkansas. Walkers can sign up to log their minutes of activity as individuals or be a part of a team of two to 10 members. The teams compete to compile more minutes than any other.
The program has an online leader board so participants can see how they’re doing compared to other teams and individuals, counties and districts.
“Most participants in our program choose to walk, but you may do any type of physical activity it increases your heart rate or you break a sweat for at least 10 consecutive minutes,” Wilson said.
“Youth are also becoming involved in school classrooms and are able to register with their teacher as the captain,” she said.
“Most of our participants enjoy the camaraderie they share with team members,” Wilson said.
Participants can also sign up for weekly newsletters throughout the program.
University of Arkansas, by Mary Hightower
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