Adams County walks across America

West River Health Services (WRHS) recently began a walking challenge for both individuals and businesses to promote good health and exercise in Adams County.

Frank Turner

From July 22 to August 18, businesses and teams participating will keep track of how far they are walking in a day as a part of the WRHS’s new 2019 Hettinger Walk Across America Challenge.
The new event was launched to help challenge and encourage people in Hettinger to keep track of their walking activity. WRHS distributed pedometers to participating teams to see who ends up walking the most.
Already, 300 individuals split into 29 teams and signed up for the challenge.
WRHS Paramedic Christopher South, was ecstatic to see the community embrace the challenge wholeheartedly.
“It’s really been overwhelming, the response we have got,” said South. “We have over 300 people participating, which is over 25 percent of the population of Hettinger getting out and getting active. It’s huge. “
Every week, each team’s progress will be converted from steps to miles and tracked on a large map of America.
People will be able to see how far teams have hypothetically walked across the country.
According to South, the trail on the U.S. map they will use to keep track of the distance actually exists in real life.
“The trail we are using is an real trail that people actually use to travel across the United States,” said South.
Currently, the map is on display at the Community Promotions Office.
South hopes that the challenge inspires residents to practice good exercise habits and improve the overall health in the community.
“Being active pays out in more ways than just the little prize that we plan to give out,” said South. “It pays out because when people increase healthy activity, it reduces incidents of diabetes and cardiovascular diseases, including heart attacks and stroke.”
He continued, “There have are just so many good things about exercise. It releases endorphins and it’s been proven to help with depression.”
The idea for a walking challenge originated within West River Health Services itself. After receiving a grant, the hospital opened the challenge to rest of the community.
“We are excited to bring it out to the community because we think everyone can benefit from increased activity,” South said.
The team that travels the farthest will be awarded a mystery prize at the end of the challenge.
“The ultimate prize of this project is people’s health,” he continued.
In a much wider effort, the hospital is encouraging fitness in the community in more ways than just the walking challenge. On August 7th at 6:30 p.m., WRHS is hosting a “Family Frisbee Fun Night” to encourage people to utilize the new Frisbee golf course.
There, the hospital plans to give out free Frisbees so people can give the new course a try.
South said that he hopes to see community members at Mirror Lake Park after burgers and brats.
“It’s always great to see the community out having fun and being healthy,” said South.

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