Mid-Michigan communities get their walk on
One contest. Nine Mid-Michigan communities. Over 1000 participants. The goal? To stay active—even when Michigan’s winter weather makes us want to curl up on the couch.
This fitness contest is known as the Community Partners in Health Winter Warm-Up and it included a challenge for Mid-Michigan area mayors to get their communities walking and moving. All participating communities received grant money—courtesy of the Blues—to put toward a program that will bring the community to a healthier future.
This year, the contest ran from January 23rd through March 27th and within this time frame, the participants were encouraged to walk each Saturday at the Lansing mall. They used pedometers to count their steps and they logged their totals online using the free WalkingWorks tool. The community that logged the most steps online won first place.
The city of Charlotte came in first after logging over 33,149 miles, so they took home the largest grant. They plan to use the money to improve existing walking trails and also create new ones within their community.
The people involved in this event were passionate and full of energy. They loved talking about walking, and the positive effect that staying active has on their life. The underlying theme for this event was: Walking Works!
And it really does. A few years ago, event participant Rose Borst changed her life by walking and since then, she has lost over 125 pounds. Rose is one of many community members who came every Saturday within the ten week program to walk inside the Lansing Mall. Similarly, event participant, John Gillespie, lost close to 200 pounds and you could find him walking at the mall, too.
People talk about a lack of motivation to be active in winter months, but this event is proof that, although challenging, there is always a way to make it work.
In the photo: participating mayors, event coordinators and walking advocates Jon Stanton and Jodi Davis