Walking a little extra adds to local wellness

Monday, October 23, 2006

Putnam County residents and participants in the recently launched Walking for Wellness program are encouraged to participate in a special walk on Saturday, Oct. 28 as part of a statewide event to encourage healthy, active lifestyles.

The local walk is one of many going on across the state during the last full week of October. INShape Indiana, Governor Mitch Daniels' health initiative, is sponsoring "Walk Across Indiana" in conjunction with Purdue University Extension and state and local Health Departments to encourage Indiana residents to take steps to improve their health through increased physical activity.

Evansville resident Bill Frost will be walking all the way from Evansville to Indianapolis starting on Saturday and arriving in Indianapolis on Oct. 28. He will walk through Putnam County, along U.S. 40 as part of his trek. He expects to be walking through Putnam County on Thursday or Friday.

Local residents are asked to walk a little extra on Saturday. Walking for Wellness participants are asked to keep track of and report the steps they walk that day as a separate number from their usual weekly report. The number of steps reported for that day will be tallied and reported as part of the "Walk Across Indiana" project.

Local citizens can participate in "Walk Across Indiana" at their own convenience and wherever they are, by simply deciding to walk a little extra on that day. However, those who would like to join with others to walk together, may do so at a number of designated walking sites, including any of the People Pathways trails, Reelsville Commun-ity Park, Bainbridge or Russellville Community Building, the DePauw Nature Trail, the Clover-dale Cemetery and others.

Anyone who would like to check-in and walk with a group at a specific time should come to the trail head of the People Pathways Greencastle-Fillmore trail (near the entrance to the Greencastle Wal-mart store) at 9 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 28. Walking for Wellness participants are encouraged to wear their yellow T-shirts.

Another opportunity is being offered by the Putnam County Special Olympics, sponsors of a "Special K Walk" beginning at 10 a.m. Oct. 28 on the Greencastle-Fillmore Trail.

The cost of this fundraiser is $10 to benefit the Putnam County Special Olympics program. Any walkers are encouraged to double the benefit of their walk and also take part in the "Special K Walk" while participating in "walking across Indiana."

For more information, call )765) 848-1323.

For years, the fourth Saturday of October has been designated nationally as "Make a Difference Day." Make a Difference Day is a time to reach out in someway to volunteer to help their community or someone else. This year on Oct. 28, residents will have an opportunity to make a difference in their health by taking steps to become more active, and if they choose, to make their steps count double by also participating in the Putnam County "Special K Walk" for Special Olympics.

Members of the Putnam County Health Coalition say they have been delighted with the interest in Walking for Wellness. Since nearly 600 people signed up to participate in the walking program they are working hard to keep up.

Coordinators of the walking program, Joy Marley, Jackie Baumann and Beth Glaze ask participants to be patient with any delays or hold-ups in receiving materials, regulating pedometers or taking in reports of steps walked.

While it is terrific to see so many people taking extra steps to improve their health, they said, it has necessitated re-evaluating and revising some of the plans to accommodate the overwhelming response.

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