Anyone interested in developing healthy habits and increasing stamina can benefit from a free Penn State Extension virtual walking program called “Everybody Walk Across Pennsylvania.” The statewide program will take place from Monday, April 11 to Monday, June 6.
The program is aimed at harnessing social support to achieve healthy lifestyle goals. Participants may walk individually or with family, friends, coworkers or even their dogs in teams of up to five. Each team member will aim to walk or exercise an average of 10 miles a week for eight weeks.
Participants can walk at a time and place convenient for them, such as a park, neighborhood, or yard. Weekly emails sent to participants will include motivators to keep walking and strategies for eating healthy.
Organizers note that physical activity and healthy eating habits are critical to long-term health. Moderate exercise such as walking reduces stress and fatigue and sharpens mental alertness. Exercise improves cardiovascular functioning and strengthens bones. Combined with healthy eating, walking can help reduce or maintain body weight and decrease the incidence of several chronic diseases.
The program is not competitive and is intended to help participants improve their own physical activity levels.
Participation is free, but the deadline for registration is March 25. More information is available on the Penn State Extension website at https://extension.psu.edu/everybody-walk-across-pa.