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Thursday, Aug. 21, 2014

Walk Across Tennessee sets kickoff for Jan. 31

Thursday, January 24, 2013

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Dyer County Walk Across Tennessee Committee members are gearing up to get 'Fit and Lean in 2013!' There is still time to register for the 2013 WAT initiative, slated to kickoff at the Dyersburg Mall at 5 p.m., on Jan. 31, on Thursday, Jan. 31. From left, Nancy West, Sandy Tarkington, Angelica Portillo, Bubba Cobb, Megan Madden, Teresa Evans, Andy Baker, Buffy Worley, Helen Maclin, Joe Hayden and Jessica Rosier. For additional information about Walk Across Tennessee, contact Beth Bell at bbell3@utk.edu or call the UT Extension Office at 286-7821. Enrollment forms and information are also available on the website at www.watdyer.org.
Dyer County's ninth annual Walk Across Tennessee initiative is inspiring local residents to become "Fit and Lean in 2013."

The annual six-week fitness program is a team-driven effort featuring an imaginary trek across the state. But residents aiming to cover approximately 500 miles from Dyersburg to the Tri-Cities are not limited to lacing up their walking shoes.

Teams chart 'miles' calculated by the intensity of the exercise performed, so that means those participating in the 2013 Walk Across Tennessee program may jog, bike, Tai-Chi or Zumba their way to a fitter, leaner lifestyle. The program's conversion chart even features calculations for gardening, cleaning house and playing with children.

Examples include:

* 20 minutes of Zumba = one mile

* 15 minutes of basketball = one mile

* 30 minutes of cleaning house = one mile

"At the end of each week, the team captain reports the total team miles to Joe Hayden, who has volunteered for several years to assist with record keeping in the friendly contest," said Dyer County Walk Across Tennessee Community Chair and University of Tennessee Extension Agent Beth Bell. "The goal is for each team to collectively walk 500 miles in six weeks. Most teams are able to make the goal. Some even lap the state several times."

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Dyer County residents are invited to take steps toward becoming Fit and Lean in 2013 in the upcoming Walk Across Tennessee initiative. The Dyer County WAT Committee recently unveiled this year's T-shirt design, available in three colors -- safety green, royal blue and black -- for residents who register for the annual fitness initiative.
Bell said the program comes at a time when many residents have already pledged to begin a fitness regime.

"Many families are looking for a way to focus on fitness," said Bell. "The committee purposefully chooses the time of year when the weather makes it more difficult to exercise."

Teams entering the Walk Across Tennessee initiative consist of eight to 10 members. Teams select a creative name for the competition and a team captain. Each week, the captain reports the collective miles of the team members to the UT Extension office.

"Teams are what makes this program successful," said Dyersburg City Schools Coordinated School Health Coordinator Nancy West. "The accountability of reporting weekly and not wanting to let your team members down helps walkers work harder."

This year, Dyer County Walk Across Tennessee committee members have chosen a simpler method to report miles using 'Survey Monkey.'

"Team captains with e-mail access will receive a weekly report reminder on Tuesdays during the program," said Bell. "They will click on a link, identify their team and type their total miles into a box and hit 'send.' For those teams who do not have e-mail access, they may report by phone or fax as usual."

A kickoff event at the Dyersburg Mall is scheduled at 5 p.m., on Thursday, Jan. 31.

Tracking will begin on Monday, Feb. 4. Residents are encouraged to register as soon as possible.

With a new T-shirt design and an easier way for team captains to report their miles, the 2013 program is ready to help local families, co-workers and clubs start off the New Year with healthier choices.

Bell reports over 7,178 people in Dyer County have participated in the Walk Across Tennessee program in the past eight years, with many citing improvements to their sleep, stress level, weight, blood sugar and blood pressure.

"Not only is it helpful for residents to gain the health benefits of exercise and document their progress for their personal use," said Bell. "The statistics we get from local participation is often used in grant applications to show our community is actively engaged in wellness."

For additional information about Walk Across Tennessee, contact Beth Bell at bbell3@utk.edu or call the UT Extension Office at 286-7821.

Enrollment forms and information are also available on the website at www.watdyer.org.


How do you form a Walk Across Tennessee team?

It's as easy as 1-2-3:

1. Gather eight to 10 family members, co-workers, friends, Sunday school members and/or neighbors.

2. Pick up an enrollment packet or go online to www.watdyer.org to download enrollment forms from the website

3. Get moving!

Categories for this year's competition include:

* Industry

* Church

* Family and friends

* Medical

* Schools - teachers/staff/administration

* Government and business

* Third- to fifth-grade students

* Sixth- to eighth-grade students

* High school students

* College

* Age 50 and better

* Fitness All-Stars -- (designed for teams who compete at a professional level including fitness experts and personal trainers)

For additional information about Walk Across Tennessee, contact Beth Bell at bbell3@utk.edu or call the UT Extension Office at 286-7821.



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