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Hall agency encourages residents to take up walking challenge

POSTED: June 25, 2009 11:23 p.m.
TOM REED/The Times

The pedometers supplied by Hall County Parks and Leisure for the 10,000 Steps a Day Challenge attach to a belt and track daily steps.

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Take 10,000 steps today and boost your health.

Hall County Parks and Leisure Services wants community members to "get in shape and build a support system" during its 10,000 Steps a Day Challenge this month, said coordinator Katie Nuckolls.

"This is all about step counting and doing what is comfortable for you and moving up slowly — 10,000 steps may not be for you," she said.

A handful of participants showed up at Laurel Park on Thursday to kick off the event, walk the trail and use pedometers to track the steps taken.

"We already walk here because we live just down the road, but it’s more fun to do it with someone," said Nancy Mumpower, who walked with her husband, Bill, and friend Tosha Gautier.

For Erin Byers, who brought her three children to the park, it’s about fitting in the daily exercise during her busy schedule.

"A lady and I started walking around Discover Mills during our lunch," she said. "It’s one mile around, and we did three laps today."

"We use pedometers in our health class" at Spout Springs Elementary, said Byers’ daughter Savannah, as she clipped a pedometer onto her skirt. "Ever since, I wanted one to count how many steps I take each day."

Parks and Leisure Services began the initiative this month "to encourage people to get in shape or stay in shape," Nuckolls said.

"We have challenged ourselves to step up and really help our community, so we look for new ways to get community members involved in their health," she said.

The department set up a Web site to "encourage each other and start up walking groups," said Kelly Norman, a program coordinator.

Each person received a packet to log how many steps they take each day, with the goal of increasing it 500 steps each week toward a final goal of 10,000 steps per day — about five miles.

"It’s about using your feet as an everyday mode of transportation," Norman told the group. "It’s a sustainable goal, easy with transitions and fits into your lifestyle."

Those who are interested in participating can still join and receive a pedometer to track their steps.


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