Daily Progress, Jacksonville, TX

Living

March 16, 2009

Walk Across Texas

Local AgriLife Extension Service kicks off annual walk to help promote fitness

By Cristin Ross

living@jacksonvilleprogress.com

Walkers, start your walking.

Though the official kick off ceremonies were held Saturday, people interested in participating in the 2009 Walk Across Texas can still register their teams through Monday at the Texas AgriLife Extension Service in the Courthouse Annex in Rusk.

Walk Across Texas is a program created by the Texas AgriLife Extension Service in 1996 to help people establish the habit of regular physical activity. From border to border, individual walkers or teams can walk 830 miles across the state.

“Once the weather starts to warm up, walkers all across the state start forming into teams and breaking out the athletic shoes,” said Wendi Green, Extension Agent for Cherokee County. “The idea behind Walk Across Texas is to encourage more residents of the Lone Star State to start a program of regular exercise.”

Teams and individuals will log their physical activities — converted into miles — from Monday, March 16 to Monday, May 11. The goal is to cover the distance in miles from Port Arthur to El Paso, the longest distance across Texas. Each member of a team of eight would have to walk 13 miles a day for eight weeks to make the distance, according to the Extension Service’s Website, http://cherokee-tx.tamu.edu.

“At the courthouse annex building we have a Texas map and will be plotting each teams progress across the state,” Green said.

Teams and individuals walk — or run, dance, garden, swim or do any other form of exercise — for the eight-week period. Fifteen minutes of exercise counts as one mile. At the end of that time, each team’s or person’s total mileage is added up.

This year’s sponsors include the Texas AgriLife Extension Service; the Cherokee County Health Department; HOPE - Partners in Health; Texas National Bank; Austin Bank; Southern Cherokee Federal Credit Union; ABC Auto; Chapman Pharmacy; and Break N’ Bread.

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