NOW is time to get active

Monday, May 21, 2012

Each month is designated by many different groups as a special time to highlight their particular cause or effort. May is a very popular month with over 50 designations, from Stroke Awareness to High Blood Pressure Month, as well as Bike Month, Egg Month and many other designations that pertain to foods and outdoor activities.

Managing blood pressure is the most important thing you can do to help reduce your chances of having a stroke. Learning your numbers and leading a healthier life can be the first step toward living a longer healthier life.

Whether you are concerned about stroke, high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes or most any other chronic disease, following "Life's Simple Seven" is a good advice. These steps can help add years to your life:

1. Don't smoke

2. Maintain a healthy weight

3. Engage in regular physical activity (consider joining Walking Wednesdays)

4. Eat a healthy diet

5. Manage your blood pressure

6. Take charge of cholesterol, and

7. Keep blood sugar, or glucose at healthy levels.

One of the easiest and most important things that any of us can do to help live a healthier life and to achieve the above recommendations is to get more exercise and to be physically active.

In an effort to help local residents be more active, the Putnam County Health Coalition continues to sponsor Walking Wednesdays and encourages people to make some form of exercise a regular part of their day.

The spring series of Walking Wednesdays ends this Wednesday, May 23. The final walk for the spring series starts from the People Pathways Gazebo across from the Greencastle Wal-Mart Store at 5 p.m. At the end of Wednesday's walk the drawings will be held for the spring walking series prizes of Wal-Mart gift card and swim passes to the Greencastle Aquatic Center. Individuals who participate in Walking Wednesdays get to put their names in each week they walk for the prize drawings.

The Health Coalition has decided to take a break of just one week before starting the summer series of Walking Wednesdays on June 6. In an effort to avoid some of the extreme heat experienced last summer, it was decided to limit the summer series of Walking Wednesdays to just six weeks. This will have the summer series ending on July 11 and prior to the County Fair. The summer walks are also scheduled for some of the shadier paths.

The first week of the Summer series of Walking Wednesdays will begin at Deer Meadow School. As always the walks will take place between 5-6 p.m. except for week 5, which falls on Wednesday, July 4 That week participants are invited to take part in the annual July 4 Mike Rokicki Memorial Run, or just walk wherever you are celebrating the holiday.

For more information about Walking Wednesdays, call the Putnam County Office of the Purdue Extension Service at 653-8411 or contact Troy Scott at tscott@cityofgreencastle.com.

Check the website www.extension.purdue.edu/putnam to view the most up to date info. You can contact the local Purdue Extension Office by calling 653-8411 for more information regarding column topics or to RSVP for upcoming events. It is always best to call first to assure items are ready when you arrive and to RSVP for programs. While many publications are free, some do have a fee.

Upcoming Events

May 21 -- Leader Lesson-- "Attracting Birds to Your Yard", 7 p.m. at the Extension Office

May 28--Memorial Day, Extension Office CLOSED

May 30 -- 4-H Wood Science Workshop, Steve Lien Shop, 6:30 pm

May 30 -- 4-H Consumer Clothing Workshop, Mill Pond Health, 5:30 pm

May 30 -- 4-H Photography Workshop, Extension Office, 6:30 pm

May 31 -- 4-H Cake Decorating Workshop, 7 p.m. (check Extension Office for location)

June 1 -- Indiana State Fair 4-H Animal Entry Forms Due

June 5 -- Youth PQA Test 5 p.m., Class 6 p.m., Fairgrounds

June 6 -- Week 1 of Walking Wednesdays--Summer Series--Start from Deer Meadow School

June 6 -- Forage Small Dairy / Cheese Field Day -- Spiceland

June 7 -- Exploring 4-H Orientation, Fairgrounds, 7 p.m.

June 13--Week 2 of Walking Wednesdays --from DPU Connector Trail

July 1 -- Indiana State Fair 4-H Animal Entry Forms Due