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community wellness walking program: "witness the fitness"

          This summer, Wishek will see a lot of bright yellow T-shirts and tennis shoes hitting the pavement.  From April 13th to August 17th, a community walking program, “Witness the Fitness,” will be putting in time and steps to get in shape.  "It seems like it is getting harder to stay healthy,” says Kay Weber, WHC’s Wellness Coordinator and RN.  “Some of us aren’t as young as we used to be and need to find ways to get in shape."  Earlier this year, Kay was appointed to head a wellness committee whose goal is to organize events and trainings that promote good health locally.  The committee's motivation was a direct result of the Community Needs Assessment conducted by UND's Center for Rural Health four years ago that highlighted health education as one of our communities’ top desires.

          Anyone age 18 and older is invited to register for “Witness the Fitness.”  The program makes is easy for individuals to keep track of their miles with walking logs and pedometers.  Keeping in mind the goal of the program is to implement physical activity in one’s daily routine, Kay encourages people to find ways to make it fun and competitive (make it a competition among your employees, find a walking partner to stay accountable, etc).  “A little bit every week goes a long way,” says Kay.  "It will all add up in the end.”  Registration is free and will take place Sunday, April 13th at the Wishek Gazebo from 4-5:30PM.  Pick up your T-shirt, walking logs, pedometers, and some snacks.  A Blue Cross Blue Shield representative will give a short presentation and blood pressure and blood sugar tests will also be offered. 

          “Witness the Fitness” was adapted from Blue Cross Blue Shield’s "Walking Works" program that advocates community walking initiatives.  On their website, BCBS states, "A daily routine, 30 minutes or more, of moderately-paced or brisk walking can help control your weight, lower cholesterol, strengthen your heart, and reduce the likelihood of serious health problems down the road.  And since America is spending more than ever on preventable health problems such as obesity, heart disease, and diabetes, every step you take can help build a healthier nation."  The WHC is in full support of healthier North Dakotans, and we are doing what we can to help us get there. 

For tips on how to start your own community walking program, as well as other walking information, visit 

These cold winter months can be the reason we have left our tennies in the closet, but these local facilities make it possible to walk all year-round! 

  • Your local fitness center
  • Your local civic or community centers
  • Your local American Legion or Armory

Tips to increase your steps in your day-to-day activities:

  • Park further away from your work
  • Take your lunch break to go for a walk
  • Make a walk part of your family’s routine after supper

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