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Step Up for Walk Washington Challenge, says WSU Extension Educators

PULLMAN, Wash. – Now is the time to step up and out with a new walking program, according to Washington State University Extension educators.

WSU Extension’s Nutrition Education and 4-H Youth Development programs are joining forces with the Washington Health Foundation Governor’s Health Bowl to initiate a fitness challenge program. It entails building walking teams and tracking miles traveled on foot as a way to measure progress. The actual six-week challenge will begin Sept. 18 and run through Nov. 2. Participants will work to increase their physical activity throughout that time.

“With the end of the summer and a return to our normal routines, now is the perfect time to start a new walking program,” said Shirley Broughten, WSU Extension diabetes awareness and education project coordinator.  “And, research shows that tracking your exercise program helps you sustain it.”

Those interested in participating can get more information for themselves and their team members at http://extension.wsu.edu/walkwashington/. There you can log your physical activity and help your team compete. There is an activity converter, so those who prefer to bike or dance or swim can convert those workouts into miles.

The long-term goal is to leverage WSU Extension’s network throughout the state to engage residents of all ages in more physical activity and in making better food choices. The first step – literally – was to engage Extension educators around the state. WSU Extension already has nearly 50 “Health Champions” on its Walk Washington Team and is working to increase that number. Over the summer and this fall, WSU Extension offices in Grays Harbor, Kitsap and Kittitas counties are sponsoring walking activities during their county fairs as part of the project.

More information about Walk Washington and WSU Extension is available at http://extension.wsu.edu/walkwashington/.

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Media Contacts

Shirley Broughton, WSU Extension Diabetes Awareness and Education project coordinator, 360-385-0843