For eight-week sessions during 2017, teams of up to eight people or individuals monitored their steps to “virtually” walk the 802 miles from Waskom to El Paso during a Walk Across Texas! program.
This program, sponsored by the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service in Upshur County, is designed to help people of all ages support one another to establish or increase the habit of regular physical activity, and community-wide programs like this have been associated with significant increases in physical activity and have previously shown success in Upshur County.
Fifty two (52) adults averaging 50.92 years of age completed the 8-week program including members/employees from Strategic Fulfillment Group (SFG), Upshur Rural Electric Co-op, Upshur County Senior Citizens, Upshur County American Legion, Gilmer TOPS and Upshur Co. Extension/4-H volunteers.
The total miles walked in 2017 in the WAT’sUP?shur County program was 9,309.28 miles, which equals 11 one-way trips between Waskom and El Paso, according to www.Mapquest.com. These folks are truly “Walking the Walk.”
If the participants completing the eight-week program continue walking at the same level as during Walk Across Texas!, they have the potential to save a collective $1,222,063 (yes, over $1 million!) in future health care costs and reduced work absences. Five (10) females and three (3) males could avoid or delay developing diabetes if they continue walking at this rate, according to results collected.
Some highlights from the program include:
Ø The highest weight loss recorded was 8.6 pounds by a Gilmer TOPS member.
Ø The top walker from the Upshur Co. Senior Citizens Center made a 512.22% improvement from week 1 to week 8.
Teams listed in order of recorded team miles walked are:
· 1st – SFG FlexFitness (Captain Rebecca Gennings) recording 1,800.69 miles
· 2nd – URECC Gold (Captain Dee Wingfield) recording 1,538.06 miles
· 3rd – The Step Sisters (Captain Kami Whitworth) recording 1,511.82 miles
· 4th – URECC PINK (Captain Amanda Anderson) recording 1,1511.82 miles
· 5th – Legion on Patrol (Captain Andy Gibson) recording 920.8 miles
· 6th – We Are Sure (Captain William Heldt) recording 870.24 miles
· 7th – Shuffle with the Seniors (Captain Ann Wilbanks) recording 663.72 miles
· 8th – Upshur 4-H (Captain Julie York) recording 619 miles
· 9th – TOPS Trippers (Captain Mary Kirby) recording 257.32 miles
The next Walk Across Texas! program in Upshur County will begin in the spring. Curriculum is available to teachers to support the health initiatives in the classrooms – or home schools.
If your organization, school, or just a group of friends or co-workers, would like to have fun while participating, contact Julie York in the Extension Office at 903-843-4019 or by email at Julie.York@ag.tamu.edu.
Julie York, M.S.
Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service - Upshur County
County Extension Agent - Family & Community Health