Special to the News-Times
Walk Across Arkansas returns this month to help state residents get healthy while having fun.
Starting next Monday, Sept. 11, the eight-week exercise program will bring hundreds of Arkansans to the streets, trails and tracks in their communities. Organized twice annually by the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture's Cooperative Extension Service, the goal of Walk Across Arkansas is to promote health among Arkansans.
During the spring event, 409 Arkansans in 82 teams logged 1,036,886 minutes of walking. Participants reported having more energy, getting better sleep, controlling their sleep better, strengthened relationships, losing weight and blood pressure level improvements.
Walk Across Arkansas is focused on physical activity, to help participants increase their fitness. Physical activity has been proven to lower the risk of early death, coronary heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, Type 2 diabetes, some cancers and metabolic syndrome, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control. Exercise can also help with weight loss or control and improve one's mood and energy levels.
Adults needs at least 150 minutes of exercise per week, and children need at least an hour of activity each day.
Walk Across Arkansas gives people in the state the opportunity to increase their activity while connecting with others. Lauren McGarrh, Union County extension agent, said having friends and family setting similar activity goals and walking with you can help participants stay on track.
The fall Walk Across Arkansas will be held from Sept. 11-Nov. 5. Participation is free, and registration is currently open at walk.uada.edu. Then, starting Monday, just record the amount of time you walk or do any other form of exercise.
Minutes can be logged online, or participants can contact McGarrh for paper forms to track their time.
For more information about Walk Across Arkansas, email McGarrh at [email protected] or call 870-864-1916.