A majority of Americans don’t reach their daily exercise goals, but a program called Walk Across
Arkansas could be changing that for Arkansas residents. Walk Across Arkansas is an 8-week
program designed to help people increase their physical activity levels. Teams of 2 to 10 people
can participate and pool their minutes of exercise to compete against other teams in their
county and across the state. There is also an individual registration option for those unable to
gather a team.
Teams can exercise together or separately, and there is a new rule regarding the youth teams.
This year youth teams can have up to 20 participants and have a shortened registration. We
encourage families, school groups, faith-based groups, and others to form a team to encourage
each other to increase physical activity through the course of the 8-week program.
Walking isn’t the only way to get exercise minutes, despite what the program is named. Folks
can engage in a variety of exercise types – cycling, jogging, swimming, aerobics – and report
their total minutes of exercise.
Why should groups join? There are many challenges in today’s world that prevent people of all
ages from getting quality exercise time. Most Americans do not get enough the recommended
150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise each week. Additionally, many youth don’t have
adequate time for physical activity within the school day and may need an extra push to get the
60 minutes recommended each day.
Participants enjoy the camaraderie shared with team members, in addition to a host of health
benefits, like increased energy levels and better sleep. Some participants lose weight, but
benefits of regular exercise extend far beyond the number on a scale. Regular exercise can
reduce risk for cancer, diabetes, and heart disease. And for those who already have chronic
conditions like diabetes or high cholesterol, walking is often recommended as a way to improve
Walk Across Arkansas is eight weeks long and begins on September 16. The course ends
November 10, and all minutes of exercise need to be reported by November 19.
Registration is September 4-12 and can be found at https://walk.uaex.edu. For more
information about living a healthy lifestyle please contact the Jackson Co Extension office at
870-523-7450 or visit https://www.uaex.edu/health-living/health/.
The Jackson County Extension Service is an equal opportunity/ equal access/ affirmative action