The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Local and State News

April 11, 2013

Walk This Way: Program’s goal is for fit, healthy residents

ENID, Okla. — It’s got nothing to do with the old joke. Walk This Way is a program to get Garfield County residents healthy and more active.

Maggie Jackson, health educator for Garfield County Health Department, is preparing for the Walk This Way promotion, which encourages residents to walk and win prizes. The contest is six weeks in duration, and encourages participants to walk at least 1,100 minutes during that time.

“That is the goal. If you reach that goal and turn in your minute log, then you are entered in a prize drawing,” Jackson said. “It’s basically to encourage people who want to exercise, but haven’t been motivated to do it. It gives them an incentive to meet a goal.”

The event will start at 1 p.m. Saturday at the Enid walking trail trailhead at Cleveland. It will conclude about 3 p.m. Those who wish to participate in the contest may register at the start and will receive a free T-shirt.

“We will have a table set up where we can walk on the trail and get a ticket for a drawing,” Jackson said.

The ticket will be to win an admission to Denny Price Family YMCA or gift cards to DaVinci’s. There will be music from KOFM radio and a bouncy house for kids, she said.

“It will be pretty fun,” she said.

Jackson said they also will be promoting the trail system. “People should know it is there and where it is,” she said.

There is no cost to enter, and Jackson said several sponsors make the event available. Those sponsors are Integris Bass Baptist Health Center, Enid Park Board, Garfield County Health Department and AdvancePierre Foods. Other contributors are Rural Health Project, Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service, YMCA and Enid Metro Health Planning Commission.

Individuals who achieve the 1,100 minute goal will be entered into a drawing for a $500 travel gift from a local travel agency. Each member of the winning team will receive a $100 Visa gift card. In the under-18 category, winners will receive an iPod.

Physical fitness recommendations show a moderately paced, 30-minute daily walk will reduce the risk of heart disease, as well as lower blood pressure and cholesterol. It also helps reduce blood-sugar levels. Exercise is recommended for people with diabetes, too.

Running also is allowed. Any type of sustained movement where the heart rate is elevated is allowed, Jackson said. That includes walking, riding a bicycle and running.

“If you’re walking from the office to your car, that doesn’t count. It should be 15 minutes or more at a time,” she said.

Based on a MAPP (Mobilizing Action through Planned Partnerships) survey initiated by Oklahoma Department of Health, Garfield County has a high obesity rate, Jackson said.

In 2010, the most recent statistics available, 36.2 percent of residents in Garfield County were obese, according to the survey. Obesity is described as having a body mass index, height vs. weight, of more than 30.

A behavior survey in Garfield County showed 30 percent of the population led sedentary lives. Garfield County also was high in diabetes statistics, with 37.4 of very 1,000 people having some form of diabetes. The national rate is 20 per 1,000, according to 2010 statistics.

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