Mineral Wells Index, Mineral Wells, TX

March 18, 2014

WALK ACROSS TEXAS: Kickstart your journey to better health


— By TYLER MASK



With a modest increase in daily activity, most individuals can improve their health, Palo Pinto County Extension Agent Lynette Babcock said. Walk Across Texas is one of the many programs that Texans can participate in to kick start their journey to better health.

WAT is scheduled to kick off in Palo Pinto County on March 24 and end on May 18, eight weeks in all.

Since its founding in 1996, thousands of Texans have participated in WAT. From groups like Special Olympics Texas and Action for Healthy Kids, to individuals looking for a change, WAT is an event for everyone.

“All you need is a team of eight people to get moving with one person being designated as the team captain,” Babcock said. “Schools can also participate, but each class tracks their mileage as a team. There are also a variety of lesson plans available in most grade levels that can be utilized by teachers.”

WAT is a free competition to see which team can log the most miles. The minimum goal is for each team to collectively log 830 miles.

Teams are not required to exercise together, but they can if they desire.

Miles can be logged by walking, jogging, swimming, or participating in a variety of other activities.

The following count as a mile:

• A measured mile.

• 2,000 steps measured on a pedometer.

• 20 minutes of any continuous exercise.

• Miles calculated using the Mileage Equivalents Calculator available online.

To sign up, teams of eight need to select one person to be team captain, complete registration and prepare to log their miles.

Team members must report their miles to their captains by Monday of each week. Captains will submit mileage by Tuesday of each week by entering their team's mileage online or submitting it to the Extension office. Miles may also be submitted via mobile devices.

Special awards will be given to the top three teams. Other awards – to be announced – will also be given.

“The teams who walk farthest 'Across Texas' will win, but everyone who participates will take home a healthy habit – walking for fitness,” Babcock said.

To register or to learn how to calculate or track miles, visit www.palopinto.agrilife.org. Teams are asked to register before March 24.