Being physically active is one of the best things you can do to improve and maintain your health, yet nearly two-thirds of Americans aren’t getting the activity they need. Consider taking up walking with friends or your family by participating in Walk Across Tennessee, which is an eight-week program that will spark some friendly competitions in DeKalb County. Beginning September 22nd teams of eight will compete to see who can log the most miles walking, jogging, biking, and other forms of exercise in their community. Biking or jogging teams can have a team of four. The miles walked are not literally across the state, but reported on a map posted at the UT Extension Office and Greenbrook Park. This year some of the schools in the county will be participating as well. They will be tracking minutes of exercise rather than miles walked.
Since everyone participates in a variety of sports, the Walk Across Tennessee program also has an exercise conversion chart so that participants can count aerobics, swimming, weight lifting, etc. For example, 16 minutes of high intensity aerobics would equal one mile.
The Walk Across Tennessee kickoff for DeKalb County is set for Saturday, September 22 at Greenbrook Park at 9:00. “Teams will keep track of their miles, which will be posted in the Extension office and other places around the community. Teams can be composed of coworkers, teachers, students, neighbors, etc. This is an excellent team competition for the workplace and schools” said April Martin, DeKalb County Extension Agent. Students in schools will track their progress a little differently. They will keep track of the minutes they exercise each week. For general reporting purposes, 20 minutes will equal one mile.”
According to Martin, “Last spring we had over 400 people on 53 teams. This is one of the largest Extension Walk Across Tennessee programs on record across the state, so we have been thrilled about the community’s interest. The overall top winning team last spring was Shiroki North America’s Night Owls followed by second place winner SNA Unisex Walkers. We hope to get more businesses involved this time as well.”
Many people are unaware of the positive benefits of exercise. According to the American Heart Association, heart disease is the No. 1 problem in the United States. The risk of heart disease could be significantly reduced by regular exercise. According to the Center for Disease Control, the positive effects of physical activity are not limited to lowering the risk of heart disease. Not only does regular exercise help relieve stress and anxiety,” physically active people outlive inactive people. Participating in Walk Across Tennessee DeKalb County is not only a great way to get involved with our community, it’s a healthy habit,” Martin stated.
To participate in Walk Across Tennessee, first get a team together. Biking and jogging teams are limited to four people. Choose a team captain and name your team. Team captains need to download up a captain’s packet, available at the DeKalb County Walk Across Tennessee website which is http://eteamz.active.com/WalkAcrossTennesseeDeKalbCounty/ in the handout section or at the DeKalb County Extension Office, 115 West Market St. Smithville, located right beside Fuston’s Antiques. Each team member will need to complete a registration form which is included in the team captain’s packet or at the Walk Across Tennessee website. Individual as well as team forms should be returned to the Extension office.
Awards and prizes will be given to the individual who walk the most miles as well as the team who walks the most miles.
“Competition kicks off on September 22, 9:00 A.M. at Greenbrook Park under pavilion one,” Martin said. “Come out and plan to have lots of fun.” For more information, call the Extension office at 597-4945 or visit the website. Walk Across Tennessee results will be posted at http://eteamz.active.com/WalkAcrossTennesseeDeKalbCounty/, at Greenbrook park, and the Extension office each week.
All of the programs of the University of Tennessee are open to all people regardless of race, color, sex, national origin, or disability.