If you’ve been looking for a good reason to start working off that “quarantine 15” or cure winter’s cabin fever, registration is open for the spring 2021 edition of Walk Across Arkansas.
Registration is now open. Walk Across Arkansas begins March 15 and will run for eight weeks. Registration is easy and there’s no cost. Register HERE.
The twice-a-year public health event attracts scores of teams from all over Arkansas. Last year, the 218 teams from both the spring and fall editions racked up 1.45 million minutes of exercise.
Even though it’s called Walk Across Arkansas, any type of intentional activity is encouraged, just as long as participants log their active minutes. People can participate as individuals or as part of a team of co-workers, friends or even the people in your “COVID bubble.” Past teams have engaged in friendly competitions – further encouraging team members to be active.
“Walk Across Arkansas is a great opportunity to work on increasing physical activity and creating connections with your team,” said Heather Jackson, extension program associate-health for the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture. “Over the course of this online, eight-week program, everyone is invited to improve their health with this free program.”
Bryan Mader, assistant professor and extension health specialist for the Division of Agriculture, said that the pandemic has made its mark on our exercise habits, and often not in a good way.
“Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, many of us have not been able to get the amount of physical activity we need to stay healthy—gyms have been closed and home workout equipment can be costly,” he said. “One solution that does not require a membership nor any expensive equipment is walking.
“Walking is one of the best ways to maintain our health. Walking and other physical activity has been shown to aid in weight loss, reduce high blood pressure, reduce risk for type 2 diabetes, heart attack, and cancer and reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety,” Mader said. “We recommend 150 minutes of physical activity each week. That’s just about 20 minutes per day of walking to improve your health!”
The best part, Mader said, is that Walk Across Arkansas “is open to everyone, regardless of age.”
Be sure to consult with your physician before starting any exercise program.