WALK Newsletter #5 – October 13th, 2021

W – Wow: WAT! 25 Challenge Participation Update

Cool! That is what we say when we talk about the #WAT25 Challenge participants...they are COOL! It is also what we are saying about the weather! As Texas temperatures cool off a bit, it makes those walks outside even more enjoyable. You know what else makes WAT! enjoyable? Howdy Health - the online mileage entry system! Waaaayyyback, around the turn of the century (lol... sounds wild, right!??!) the WAT! website was developed in 2001 to make it easier to sign up and track miles. In the last 20 years there have been lots of improvements! Of course, there is more that can be done. But really, isn't our fitness journey like that? As we are working on healthier habits, we are often doing better than we were, but we have improvements that can be made. Glitches come up from time to time, but overall, we are moving forward. Progress, rather than perfection, is our goal.

Speaking of progress, we would like to extend a warmwelcome to our walkers who have joined us in October!If you would like a peek at earlier WAT! 25 WALK newsletters, reach out to your local Extension agent or send a support ticket on the Howdy Health website and tell us you want to know what you might have missed. 

How about a WAT! 25 Challenge update? We are reaching for the stars! Did you know it is about 238,900 miles from the earth to the moon? Collectively, since our WAT! 25 Challenge started our adult participants have walked 254,929.06 miles! This means we are among the stars, and we kissed the moon as we passed it by. This is a result of 4,152 participants on 719 teams. Currently we have 88 leagues and 96 counties taking part in WAT! 25. Also, it is 6,783.5 miles around the moon, so those kids in our WAT! Youth Challenge, whom we love “to the moon and back,” have almost lapped the moon twice with their current total of 10,215.1 miles from 1,838 participants on 68 teams and with 32 leagues and 22 counties

Also, something else that is out of this world, is that included in our WAT! 25 Challenge participation are 10 teamsfrom outside of Texas! Shout out to the Carolina Faith Walkers team, coming to us from North Carolina! Thank you for joining us on this virtual journey across Texas, and apparently, space! 

For Mini Challenge #4, we asked for quotes from participants to use for our random drawing. Congrats to the following for “telling us like it is”:

WAT! Adult – Mini Challenge #4 Winners

County 

Participant 

Team

Tarrant

Joy N.

Quarantine Queens

Brazos

Elizabeth M.

The Motley Crew

Baylor

Hayley W.

Busted Soles of Baylor County

Bowie

Shelley C.

Rolling Stones

Montgomery

Elizabeth H.

Legacy Center

Brazos

Thomas C.

Pulchritudinous Ebullient Abderian People

Lubbock

Sarah F.

Zippy's Biggest Fans!

Liberty

Jennifer W.

Dream Team

Travis

Lana N.

Let's Get Fiscal!!

Brazos

Laura J.

Rapid Thigh Movement (RTM)

The WAT! Youth – Texas Youth on the Move Mini Challenge for youth teams is a drawing based on monthly participation. Milissa and Cara’s teams were the September winners! 

A - Action: Mini Challenge #5

WAT! Adult – Mini Challenge #5: For our fifth mini-challenge, we are back to recognizing those who have entered 7.5 miles total in one week into your Howdy Health accounts! 

To be eligible, you must enter 7.5 miles or more from Wednesday, October 13th – Tuesday October 19th, 2021. In the next newsletter, we will announce 10 randomly selected winners of a $10 dollar gift card to Amazon. It doesn’t matter what week of the WAT! program that you are in, but mileage must be submitted by Tuesday October 19th by 11:59 PM to be entered!

WAT! Youth – October Mini Challenge: Welcome to the second round of the monthly recognition called the Texas Youth on the Move awards. To enter for the month of October, WAT! Youth teams must log mileage from October 1st through October 31st. Prizes will be awarded in three categories: Schools, Youth Organizations and Small Group teams (20 team members or less). Team captains will receive an Amazon gift card to use in support of their youth program through a random drawing. The second round of winners will be recognized in the Wednesday, November 3rd newsletter. Teams must register to join the WAT! 25 Challenge – WAT! Youth program, and log mileage, by Sunday, October 31st by 11:59 PM to be entered.

L – Learn  

It’s a good idea to warm-up before exercise and cool-down after” (insert communal sigh here! 😊) Warming up and cooling down is often something we avoid to save time. But did you know that it only takes 5-10 minutes MAXIMUM to carry out the task; and it could help you perform better and prevent injury? It can be as simple as walking slowly for a few minutes at the beginning and end of your walking workout. Warming up prepares your body for activity by warming your muscles, making them more flexible, and increasing blood flow to provide them with more oxygen and nutrients so they don't get fatigued. Both warm-up and cool-down should consist of “dynamic” exercises at a slower pace and reduced intensity allowing your heart rate, breathing, and blood pressure to gradually increase and decrease, respectively. To learn more about how to properly warm-up and cool-down, check out the following resources:

WAT! Youth Tip: Do you have students that fidget during reading time? Do you need to increase physical activity in your classroom? Here’s an idea:

Select or create a story with a lot of action is the first step. Clarify to students that they are going to act out the actions in the narrative, and perform these activities with students, demonstrating how-to run-in place, pretend swim, and any other associated acts.

K – Keep doing better!

We have so many amazing programs to offer in addition to, and sometimes along with, WAT! One of those is ourBetter Living for Texans (BLT) program; a nutrition education program for adults and children that are SNAP participants and SNAP eligible. The BLT program helps people make healthy meals, improve their physical fitness, save money at the grocery store, grow their own foods, and adopt better food safety habits. Many of our WAT! 25 teams are a part of a BLT “Walk N Talk” program that takes WAT! one step further (get it... “one step” ...but it is more like leaps and bounds)! There is a BLT program in every county in Texas. Reach out to your local county Extension office to learn more, or check out their website at https://blt.tamu.edu

Of course, one way we can all do “better living” is by actively taking part in the WAT! 25 Challenge! You may be wondering if you are doing better than others, but please remember that “better” is relative. Just because you do not have as many miles as someone else does not mean they are doing better. Better is personal. Are you more active than you were last week, last month, last year? Then, you are doing better! Still, when you enter miles, you can see how your mileage stacks up next to your teammates and you may wonder what other folks are doing too. Last week we highlighted some of the top teams by start date to help folks visualize where they are in relation to other teams. This week we want to give you a peek at some of the top walkers. But... one more time for those in the back... WAT! is not a race. It IS a motivational tool to get more active. Do not worry too much about your mileage compared to others, just do the best you can and a little better than you were before! Okay, enough talk-y here is a quick look at some of the current top walk-y - as of 10-12-21:

County

Start Date

Name

Team

Miles

Jones

9/1/2021

Zeke C.

Wacky Walkers 

321.3

Potter

9/3/2021

William G.

Legs Miserable

280.89

Panola

9/5/2021

Anthony E.

ETX Innovators

296.57

Brazos

9/6/2021

Dorothy R.

L Cool Seniors

228

Hidalgo

9/7/2021

Denise R.

Gel Runners

170.5

Nueces

9/8/2021

Richard H.

Smooth Gliders

465.29

Deaf Smith

9/9/2021

Ida S. H.

Boom Chaka Laka

193.52

Montgomery

9/10/2021

Paul B.

Red Hot Chili Steppers

233

Cherokee

9/11/2021

Leann H.

RhsEagleCrew

77.75

Comanche

9/13/2021

Dawn M.

The HIM Ladies

371.5

Hopkins

9/14/2021

Eddie N.

Team Northcutt

242.4

Brazos

9/15/2021

Jake G.

Wandering Wildlanders

483

Brazos

9/16/2021

Monty D.

The Motley Crew

282.27

Coryell

9/17/2021

Patricia K.

Pawsitive Cattitude WLE

245.95

Lampasas

9/18/2021

Wendy T.

Chisholm Trail Chorus Trekkers

162.5

Travis

9/19/2021

David S.

Taking Life in Stride

253.6

Bowie

9/20/2021

Brett M.

The Walking Tread

362.42

Coryell

9/21/2021

Mary Kay R.

The Superheroes

195.53

Bell

9/22/2021

Stephanie H.

BECSorange

167.77

San Patricio

9/23/2021

Velvet H.

Heart and Sole Sisters

81.2

McLennan

9/24/2021

Sara D.

Go Grad School Gals

48.28

Grayson

9/25/2021

Angie D.

Tigers

317.34

Galveston

9/26/2021

Marishika W.

Charlie's Ankles 

182.83

San Patricio

9/27/2021

Kyle S.

Snack Monsters

185

Liberty

9/28/2021

Jose V.

Texas Walkers

54.59

Brazoria

9/29/2021

Sharon

Team Stringfellow 

2005.28

Cameron

9/30/2021

Jeremy K.

Staff-Cru

92.67

Victoria

10/1/2021

Rachel D.

Texas Treasures

79

McLennan

10/3/2021

Brian S.

Lone Arrangers 

37.9

Deaf Smith

10/4/2021

Michael B.

School of Walk

90.8

Jefferson

10/5/2021

Rachael L.

Walk on Faith

14.9

One last thing... just for fun! Here’s a quick and yummy fall recipe for Pumpkin Dip from Cooking Matters for Chefs and Kids:

  • Using a blender, mix 1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin puree, 1 cup (8 oz.) low-fat cream cheese (softened), ¼ cup powdered sugar, 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, and 1⁄8 teaspoon ground nutmeg. 
  • Serve with whole wheat graham crackers or apple wedges. Or use it as a spread on whole wheat toast or bread. 
WALK Newsletter #4 – October 6th, 2021
WALK Newsletter #6 – October 20th, 2021

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