WVU Extension's 'Summer Steps' program challenges West Virginians to take small steps toward fitness
West Virginians are encouraged to get active this summer with West Virginia University Extension Service’s Summer Steps walking program. The program is also a competition that challenges counties to get active and compete for the title of WVU Extension Service’s LiveWell Community.
Summer Steps takes place from June 1 through Aug. 31. Individuals across the state can register, indicate the county they wish their mileage to count toward and log their miles with the help of a walking tracker available on WVU Extension Service’s Families and Health website, fh.ext.wvu.edu.
Participation is free, and anyone is eligible. Participants can sign up at any point during the competition.
The county with the most miles logged at the end of the competition will receive a sign designating them as a “LiveWell Community,” and will also receive a walkability assessment from the WVU Extension Service Community, Economic and Workforce Development program.
Last year, nearly 17,000 miles were logged across the state by West Virginians answering the challenge to become more active.
“While many individuals participate in the program, we’re also seeing communities start to form walking groups and start incorporating lunchtime walking programs,” Elaine Bowen, Ed.D., WVU Extension health promotion specialist, said. “People are realizing that physical activity can be simple and fun when you have a goal to work toward or a group to walk with.”
Now in its third year, Summer Steps is a collaboration between the WVU Extension Service and the West Virginia Association of Counties. Previous winners include Monroe and Wood counties.
For more information on health and wellness initiatives in your community, contact your local county office of the WVU Extension Service.
CONTACT: Cassie Waugh, WVU Extension Service
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